“Honestly, I really don’t need anything.”
We all have them: those people in our lives who are impossible to shop for, because they have everything they need. The holidays are stressful enough without the added burden of having to think outside the box (and quickly) to make sure you have something for everyone. We at VCE would like to help you out this season by providing some creative, conservation-themed solutions to your gift-giving dilemmas!
Give An Experience: Venture Afield with a VCE Biologist
Give the experience of a fun and educational outing with a VCE wildlife expert! Contact VCE’s Director of Communications for more information or to purchase one of the following gift options:
$250 – Bird Walk with a VCE Biologist
Are there any birders (or birder-wannabes) on your list? They’ll love this: one (or two) of VCE’s expert birders will accompany up to six guests on an agreed-upon morning in May 2020 – during spring migration – at the location of your gift recipient’s choosing (within a reasonable distance from the Upper Valley). This promises to be an exhilarating birding experience for birders of all abilities! [Two- hour outing]
$250 – Butterfly Bonanza with Kent McFarland
Is there a butterfly enthusiast in your life? We’ve got you covered! Kent will lead an outing of up to six guests on an agreed-upon day and location (within a reasonable distance from the Upper Valley) in June or July of 2020 to traipse across meadows and through gardens in search of the more than 100 butterfly species in our neck of the woods! [Two-hour outing]
$500 – Take a Walk with a VCE Naturalist
Is there a nature lover on your list who would enjoy a morning of exploration with a naturalist at their favorite outdoor location (perhaps even their own property?). They’ll deepen their understanding of the natural world and learn how to document their findings using iNaturalist, eBird, and e-Butterfly. Now that is a unique and amazing gift! [Up to six guests for a four-hour outing]
Give Something Tangible: Gifts that Benefit Wildlife
Here are a few gift ideas that provide something to “unwrap” while advancing wildlife conservation at the same time! Be sure to order early so they arrive in time for your gift-gifting events.
VCE’s Jason Hill commissioned a young artist to create this eye-catching T-shirt design to raise awareness about our long-running Mountain Birdwatch program. Your friends and family will look snazzy, support citizen science, and help spread the word for mountain bird conservation in these unique shirts. Check out our nice selection of styles, colors, and sizes at: https://www.bonfire.com/mountain-birdwatch-swag/
Honor your friends and family through a donation to a special Kickstarter Campaign with Zorzal Cacao, VCE’s long-standing conservation partner in the Dominican Republic. With a donation of $50, you’ll receive a public thank-you on social media, and a printed acknowledgment and one delicious chocolate bar made from this special cocoa to present to the honoree. The more you donate, the bigger your rewards! (You’ll find all the details on the Kickstarter page.) Donations to this campaign will fund critical conservation research (including VCE’s ongoing collaborative work in the region and that of our local conservation partners), and the creation of a Visitor Center at Reserva Privada Zorzal. The visitor center will allow Zorzal Cacao to expand its conservation education and outreach programming to larger, more diverse audiences. Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about this project and the rewards! Order by December 15 to ensure receipt before Hanukkah and Christmas!
Kristian Brevik, a Burlington, Vermont artist and scientist, is donating $1 from the sale of each of his Endangered Species Ornaments to VCE! Find them online in his Etsy shop called “WhalefallLight.” They make a unique gift that can be used all year round. Order by December 15 to ensure receipt before Hanukkah and Christmas!
Proceeds from the sale of Habitat Stamps help keep Vermont’s rivers clean, woods connected, and meadowlands open for all to enjoy. Visit https://vtfishandwildlife.com/vthabitatstamp to purchase a Habitat Stamp for all the outdoor-people on your gift-giving list. With a minimum donation of $15 per 4″x5″ Habitat Stamp sticker, these make great stocking stuffers and support wildlife and public land conservation!
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federal Duck Stamp
Support bird habitat conservation across the nation by buying Federal Duck Stamps! A full 98% of the purchase price goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat and purchase conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This is among the most successful conservation tools ever created to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Birds & Beans Coffee
The coffee lover on your list will thank you for this one: Birds & Beans Bird Friendly® Coffee! This Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)-certified coffee represents a gold standard in ethical and sustainable coffee business. Bird Friendly® coffee is sourced from family farms in Latin America that provide sustainable, forest-like habitat for birds. Rather than being grown on farms that have been cleared of vegetation, Bird Friendly® coffees are planted under a canopy of trees. These trees provide the shelter, food, and habitat that migratory and local birds need to survive. Order online or find your local stockist on the Birds & Beans website!