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

Alberta’s 22,000-hectare McIntyre Ranch features fescue and mixed grassland as well as 3,600 wetland basins. It represents the largest conservation agreement in Canadian history. [Lethbridge Herald]

Beavers are lending a hand in building dams that will help to restore fish habitats and mitigate floods and wildfires in BC. [The Tyee]

Gary Carriere, an advocate for the Saskatchewan River Delta, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan spring convocation. [USask]

Across Canada

Social housing providers have embraced energy efficiency standards and green building techniques. [CBC]

An infographic illustrates the economic benefits of clean energy technology. [Pembina Institute]

Around the World

A new art gallery in Arles, France, models farm-to-building architecture, embracing locally sourced waste products – from algae to salt to sunflowers. [The Guardian]

Addressing Eco Anxiety

Regina-based EcoStress Sask meets monthly over Zoom to discuss current climate issues and ways to deal with the stress climate change brings. [CBC]

More religious leaders are seeing a role for themselves in helping people process environmental concerns and in shepherding people toward climate action. [Mother Jones]

Summer Reading

Calgary’s Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is the setting for P.D. Workman’s latest mystery, Sanctuary in the Stream. Surely it wasn’t the beavers who committed the murder! [P.D. Workman]

Adrift by Canadian Lisa Bidreau begins on a sailboat off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The main character has lost her memory and must choose the life she wants in a rapidly changing world. [Lisa Bidreau]

A Trillion Trees: Restoring our Forests by Trusting in Nature by Fred Pearce offers an update on the current status of the world’s forests before discussing efforts at rewilding and establishing sustainable forest commons managed by local communities. [The Tyee]

Introducing . . .

Vancouver’s Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) provides environmental education and paid employment training programs braiding Western and Indigenous perspectives on land stewardship for youth from equity-deserving communities. Their programs centre on 3 themes – native plant horticulture, ecological restoration, and plant medicine.

Roots & Shoots is a job training and work placement program for 18-25 year olds to develop land-based job skills in horticulture, ecological restoration, and environmental education.

Nature Stewards is a program for 14-18 year olds to develop skills to care for nature in their community while earning an honorarium. [EYA]


By 2035, the Town of Canmore aims to reduce residential water consumption by 50% below 2000 levels. Water-saving tips for home and garden (including car maintenance and pet care) are outlined on the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley’s website.

Urban green spaces help beat the heat. You can do your part by planting native, drought-tolerant species; watering and preserving trees, especially mature ones; reusing greywater and collecting rainwater. [UBC]

When it rains, we often stay indoors. But what if we had rain benches [Wikimedia Commons] and rain playgrounds [Gothenburg]? [Sidewalking Victoria]

Canadians spend an average of 16 days a year in their cars. Demanding change is essential, but “one person taking one cycling trip matters, not just because of that bit of carbon savings, but also because their potential to influence others is huge.” [Canadian Dimension]

Nature’s Wonders

Unlike humans and other mammals, octopuses can’t regulate their own temperature. They can, however, recode their brain when they get chilly. [Scientific American]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/52979088727/

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.