About the Friends of the Forestry Farm House

Trees for the Prairies:

The Friends of The Forestry Farm House are committed to creating an atmosphere in which Saskatoon residents and visitors can discover the past while also enjoying the peace and tranquillity the house and grounds have to offer. "The red brick house" has the ability to be a showcase of Saskatoon's past, long into its future. Restoring the Superintendent's Residence has become a focus for telling the story of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Friends of the Forestry Farm House are committed to:

  • preserving and restoring the Superintendent's Residence for the enjoyment of future generations.
  • promoting awareness of the important role this site played in Saskatoon's history and prairie agriculture, and still plays today, throughout the prairies.
  • to ensure the self-sustainability of the house so that it may continue to benefit Saskatoon residents and visitors.

The Friends of the Forestry Farm House have been committed for several years to the preservation of the Superintendent's Residence located in the Forestry Farm Park, Saskatoon. The building is not only an important historic site for Saskatoon, but is a key element in a heritage landscape which has been declared to be of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The Forestry Farm Park was formerly the site of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station, which, through its tree-planting program for prairie farmers, played a significant role in the settlement of the Prairie Provinces.

In the years it has taken to get to this stage of development of the Forestry Farm House project, the organization has had to overcome great hurdles in the process. Without the energy, hard work, determination, and the sheer will of those involved in the task of saving and restoring the Superintendents house, another integral piece of Saskatchewan's history would have been lost forever, relegated only to memory.

Important Information:

Task Force for Reuse of House Formed by City of Saskatoon: 1990

Incorporated: October 21, 1996

Mailing Address: 1903 Forestry Farm Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7S 1G9

Revenue Canada Taxation #: 891050775RC

Non-profit Corporation #: 212412:

Charitable Status #: 89105 0775 RR0001

Mandate:

To increase awareness of the history of the Forestry Farm Park in Saskatoon by:

(a) preserving the Superintendent's Residence and

(b) by encouraging interpretation of the site.

Board of Directors (2016):

President: Bernie Cruikshank

Vice President: Cyndi Cunanan

Treasurer: Claire Bullaro (Saskatoon Zoological Society)

Secretary: Sue Barrett

Directors: Peggy Sarjeant (Saskatoon Heritage Society), Bernadette Vangool (Saskatchewan Perennial Society Liaison)

Activities and Achievements:

  • Secured a long term lease to the building from the City of Saskatoon in 1998
  • Completed historical research on the site and on the work of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station
  • Prepared a restoration and sustainable development plan which uses a phased in approach
  • Prepared a landscape plan for the area surrounding the house
  • Installed new shingles and stabilized the building Completed interior demolition work
  • Installed new plumbing, heating, electrical and code requirement changes
  • Insulated, dry walled and painted the house
  • Held several "open houses" for the general public, including an 85th Birthday Party which attracted over 250 people
  • Held several historical walking tours explaining the importance of the history of the house and its grounds
  • In 1991 the House was recognized as a site of National Historic Significance
  • Commenced exterior restoration spring 2000, starting with porch substructure and wheelchair accessible ramp
  • Exterior and interior main floor renovations completed and house is opened to the public, August 2000
  • The main floor welcomes new tenants, launching the "Hearth and Stone" restaurant and opening its doors and dining room to the public.
  • The Friends of the Forestry Farm House debut on the world wide web with the website launch at www.friendsforestryfarmhouse.org now fffh.ca.
  • In 2001, the Forestry Farm House restoration project nears completion and moves towards a maintenance program and onto the landscaping phase.
  • In January, the completion of the second floor renovations welcomes the Zoo Administration and the Zoo Society to the Superintendent's Residence while their new building undergoes its own construction.
  • The main floor changes tenants and the tea room space is leased, the Friends announce the opening of the "Forestry Farm Tea House".
  • The Friends of the Forestry Farm House are selected to receive a Vintage Building Award from the Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Society in the Adaptive Reuse - Community Landmark category in 2001.
  • In 2002, the Friends of the Forestry Farm House won the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC) Heritage Award in the Adaptive Reuse Category.
  • Friends of the Forestry Farm House becomes a member of Tourism Saskatoon/Saskatchewan and is featured on the Tourism Website which connects to over 700 sites throughout North America and Europe.
  • A self-guided walking tour and brochure are developed highlighting the heritage plantings and buildings of the Forestry Farm Park with Glenn Gustafson researching and coordinating the project. 'A Walking Tour of the former Sutherland Forest Nursery Station' is launched in September.
  • Landscaping around the Superintendent's Residence saw the reintroduction of many of the varieties of shrubs that were developed at the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station. Most of the prairie hardy shrubs and trees were developed by Les Kerr during his years as the Superintendent of the Nursery Station.
  • Bernie Cruikshank and Margo Rashley attend a symposium funded and organized by Parks Canada in partnership with the Lougheed House Conservation Society in Calgary. The conference "There's No Place Like Home" dealt with issues confronting Canada's Historic Houses.
  • With the departure of the main floor tenants in early 2003, the FFFH take on the task of maintaining the Tea House and welcome the personal and professional skills of manager Jamie Pfiefer and her staff.
  • The Friends of the Forestry Farm House closed the "Tea House" in December of 2004 in order to focus the energies of its volunteers on its original mandate. Today the Superintendent's Residence is home to the National Historic Site Interpretive Centre and can be rented out for workshops or special occasion evening events. Contact 306-975-3382 for rental information.
  • The House seats 45 comfortably in three separate rooms. The kitchen is very basic with a gas stove and refrigerator.
  • In 2012 the Friends of the Forestry Farm House joined other stakeholders at the park to form the Centennial Committee to organize the centennial celebrations for the year 2013.
  • On Sunday May 26th, 2013, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo celebrated 100 years. The day featured old fashioned games, interpretive wagon rides, blacksmith demonstrations, quilts and arts displays, entertainment and the ceremonial planting of a 'Ventura' maple. Dignitaries were on hand for a formal program and helped distribute birthday cake. Over 4500 people took part in the day of celebration.
  • In June 2014 the Friends of the Forestry Farm House published 'Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo: A Photographic History'. Written by Sara Williams this publication uses many archival and contemporary photographs to tell the story of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station, its place in history, and its continuing legacy as a city park and zoo, which we enjoy today.
  • The Friends of the Forestry Farm House continue to fulfill their mandate by providing interpretation to school groups and walking tours that focus on the story of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station and its role in the settlement of the Prairie Provinces.