Welcome to EcoWest News, a weekly round-up of news and resources that you can put to use in addressing environmental issues and protecting the wild in your community.

Across the West

Calgary Climate Hub in conjunction with Alberta EcoTrust is planting tiny forests in underserved urban areas and holding tours and workshops to promote tree equity. [Calgary Climate Hub]

Should the Fraser River become a legal person? “If we are going to get serious about recovering ecosystems and addressing climate change, we need to think about other ways of viewing the natural world.” [Raincoast Conservation]

Around the World

Practical suggestions on how to integrate climate action into the school curriculum by offering solutions and ways to get involved. [Eos]

Google is working with pilots to avoid routes that create contrails, those white streaks in the sky that planes sometimes leave behind and that account for 35% of aviation’s global warming impact. [The Verge]

A court has ruled in favour of a group of young people who sued the state of Montana for violating their right to a clean environment. Montana’s constitution includes rights to a “clean and healthful environment” for residents and “future generations.” [The Verge]

Urban Sustainability

Passive House standards don’t just apply to single-family residences. They’re now being adopted for multi-family dwellings, a 60-storey high-rise in Vancouver, and a 16,900 sq. ft. industrial building in PEI.

Nature-based Solutions for Cities is available for free online and covers the benefits of nature-based urban solutions from air and water to health, governance, and ecological art. [Elgar Online]


Soils contain more life than coral reefs or rainforest canopies, providing a home to nearly two-thirds of all species: “They should be given much more consideration in conservation.” [Yale Environment 360]

A study of wetland marshes demonstrates the importance of maintaining undrained wetlands and choosing restoration sites which still have large stores of soil organic carbon. [Nature Conservancy of Canada]

Food for Thought

“Anyone who develops deep knowledge of other species by living alongside them for years realizes something both obvious and essential: we are not the only lives that matter.” [Emergence]

“Degrowth does not call for all forms of production to be reduced. Rather, it calls for reducing ecologically destructive and socially less necessary forms of production” in conjunction with “strong social policy to secure human needs and well-being”. [Monthly Review]

On the Bookshelf

The Economy of Sparrows, to be released September 12, is a debut novel by Trevor Herriot encompassing prairie agriculture, habitat loss, and family life. [McNally Robinson]

Fragment, an adventure novel featuring an atomic submarine, a polar research station, and a blue whale, by Manitoba’s Craig Russell is featured on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Planet Stewards book and film club list for 2023-24. [NOAA]

Two additional works of fiction also explore the ocean world. In Underjungle, James Sturz applies his experience as an oceanic journalist and deep-sea diver to a vividly strange story told from the perspective of one of seven tribes of sentient ocean-dwellers. Pod by Laline Paull explores the ocean world through the eyes of a young spinner dolphin.

Nature’s Wonders

The award-winning Nature inFocus photographs include a brown booby peering below the ocean’s surface, a close-up of an ant farming aphids, and an avalanche of spinner dolphins diving underwater. [The Guardian]

“Swimming in a circle means there’s food all round”: a graphic description of right whales working together to herd their prey. [Hakai]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/52074308547

EcoFriendly West informs and encourages initiatives that support Western Canada’s natural environment through its online publication and the Nature Companion website/app. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Mastodon, or subscribe by email.