CBEEN’s green gifts and much more at Pynelogs Holiday Market December 16 and 17

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Enjoy the dream of a white Christmas while giving green this year. The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) staff have picked their top three green gifts in five different age categories, ranging from five years to adults. They can be ordered online at outdoorleaningstore.com.

“We offered this refined gift list last year, and now that we offer resources and equipment that are of interest to a broader audience than schools, we thought we’d build this out a bit more this year,” said CBEEN executive director, Duncan Whittick. “Most popular resources and equipment are the sit pads ideal for keeping bums dry and warm as well as the magnifiers and binoculars, which are of very high quality and durability, especially for their price.”

CBEEN staff based their picks on their quality and relevance to the season, and a broader audience outside of school learning.

“We also wanted to ensure we highlighted excellent Indigenous Learning Resources for each age group, since this is an area we’ve really tried to place a great deal of attention on,” said Whittick. 

Some examples of this for each age category are as follows:  For children ages five to eight there is the Métis ‘Connecting to the Land kids book bundle; for those age nine to 12 is the children’s book, Sila and the Land Indigenous, as well as different levels of braiding sweetgrass are available for ages 13 to adult to name a few. 

With the Outdoor Learning Store being 99 per cent online,  CBEEN is excited to have their first in-person booth at the Pynelogs Holiday Market on Dec. 16 and 17 and will be open till 7 p.m. both days. Including CBEEN, the holiday market will have 14 vendors this year as well as music and art. Pynelogs artist in residence, Kim Olson, will be hosting an open studio and sale upstairs.

“Pynelogs is a neat building, and this will be a great way to check it all out, if you’ve never been,” said Columbia Valley Arts (CVA) executive director, Cajsa Fredin. “We also have a couple of vendors who can only do the one day, so you must visit the market both days, so you don’t miss out.”

The Pynelogs Holiday Market, another event which was impacted by the pandemic, has evolved from other market- and tour-type events that CVA has been a part of in the past. What originated during Tour of the Arts, an art tour hosted at different gardens and properties around the valley, later evolved into Art in the Park.

“Last year was Art in the Park’s first Holiday Market, and we were happy to collaborate again with them,” said Fredin. “It was a fun day, and a great way to support our awesome local artists and creatives. This year we have another great lineup of artists and vendors; check out our website and Instagram and Facebook pages for more information.” 

Whittick said the market is a great way to expose people to more local and sustainable choices at a time when it is more important than ever with the ever-growing and increased importance on preserving nature, reducing the impacts of climate change, and broadening the understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

  “Of course, any gift at any time of year should consider the social and environmental responsibility, but as this is a time of year when people tend to consume and spend more, we wanted to provide a local option where we’ve worked hard to improve the social and environmental practices behind the purchase,” said Whittick. “We also provided our Outdoor Experiences Auction as an option for people who don’t want to give ‘things’, and of course, we are very appreciative of donations made to our Environmental Education Endowment Fund in honour of someone.”

Those who wish to donate to the Environmental Education Endowment Fund can do so at cbeen.ca//forever//. 

Fredin noted, “Markets are amazing opportunities for our communities in so many ways, not only giving artists, creatives, and producers a means to sell their items, but (giving) the public and community the chance to experience the art in all its forms.

“The life that markets bring to a space is an important contribution to the cultural health of a community,” Fredin continued. “Chatting with people, making something that someone wants, buying that special unique something that no one else has, that’s fun. We here at CVA hope that you come to share in a fun day down at Pynelogs, take a walk in the park, come for a peak at the market, go for a skate, come back for hot chocolate, and check out the market. It’s going to be fun and festive!”