Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Narwhal logo.Giving back

RTBC founding editor Christine McLaren calls Vancouver home, and this week she sent along an intriguing story from her neck of the woods: On Vancouver Island, residents are paying rent to First Nations, The Narwhal reports. The first batch of “voluntary rent” checks was distributed in March through the South Island Reciprocity Trust, which was established last year. One hundred and forty-two residents contributed. Similar programs have been successful elsewhere, including Australia’s Pay the Rent program, which dates back to the 1970s.

“We’re living with the ramifications of all these explicitly racist and genocidal decisions,” Simon Owen, a resident who contributed to the South Island trust, told The Narwal. “If we’re serious about detoxifying that, land has to be part of that conversation.”

Los Angeles Times logo

Outdoor ventures

Californias first Black-led land conservancy, the 40 Acre Conservation League, has both an environmental and a social mission, according to a story Editorial Director Rebecca Worby shared from the Los Angeles Times this week. The trust recently purchased a 650-acre parcel near Lake Tahoe.

Rebecca Worby Slack avatar

Becca says:


The idea is to help the state meet its conservation goals while also “helping humans who don’t see themselves as nature or wildlife lovers develop a new appreciation for California’s fragile ecosystem.” The name comes from the 40 acres that Union General William T. Sherman promised to grant to emancipated slaves after the Civil War.

Trees on hillsides in Emigrant Gap, California.
The 40 Acre Conservation League recently purchased 650 acres in Emigrant Gap, California. Credit: Joe Parks / Flickr

What else we’re reading

🧪 This Scientist Has an Antidote to Our Climate Delusions — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from the New York Times

🍕 Central Park introduces new pizza box recycling bin to curb rats — shared by Rebecca Worby from NBC New York

🚆 The Dream of a Texas Bullet Train Lives On — shared by Audience Engagement Editor Mariel Lozada from Bloomberg CityLab

Elsewhere in our channels…

A few months back, Contributing Editor Peter Yeung wrote for us about Medellín’s green corridors. It’s an astonishing success story: Thanks to a program that added cooling green spaces, temperatures in the Colombian city have fallen by 2°C, with a further decrease of 4 to 5°C expected over the next few decades.

A green corridor in Medellin
A green corridor in Medellín. Credit: Peter Yeung

This week, we were delighted to see that the French magazine Courrier international translated and republished the story. Read the original here.