Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation from Wednesday, Aug. 26 – Wednesday, Sept. 2 for a week of black bear themed fun! The virtual Bear Festival is sponsored by Century Bank and will feature live events, videos, blogs posts and more. PEEC Graphic
Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation (LEWF) for a week of black bear-themed education and fun for this year’s virtual Bear Festival! This event will take place from Wednesday, Aug. 26 – Wednesday, Sept. 2 and feature live events, videos, blog posts and more. Century Bank is sponsoring this year’s festival!
Visit peecnature.org or follow PEEC on Facebook and Instagram for daily content about black bears throughout the week. PEEC and LEWF’s staff members and volunteers will release content about what to do if you see a bear while hiking, bear-safe camping and backpacking, black bear backyard photography, crafts and activities and more! Over the course of the week, the festival will cover bear safety outdoors, bear behavior and biology, and wrap up by looking at bears in our communities.
You can kick off the Bear Festival fun now with some pre-festival offers! Stop by Century Bank in Los Alamos to pick up a free bear bell, while supplies last. Or, visit the PEEC online gift shop to receive 15% black bear items. PEEC is offering curbside pickup at the nature center and shipping is also available for select items.
PEEC is also hosting two contests as a part of this event! The first is to win a BearVault canister. Post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and share what you are doing to keep black bears in our community safe. Use the hashtag #BearFest2020 on Facebook or Instagram to enter or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your submission. The second contest is geared toward kids and is for a black bear plushie. To enter this giveaway, kids should draw a picture or write about what they can do to keep themselves and our black bears safe at home or on the trail. Entries should also be submitted on social media with the hashtag #BearFest2020 or to email@example.com. Entries must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 4 and winners will be notified by Tuesday, Sept. 8. Submissions may be re-posted on PEEC’s website and social media pages.
The festival will also include four exciting live events. To kick off the live schedule, wildlife biologist Daryl Ratajczak will give a live-streamed talk called “Bear Speak” on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. He will discuss how to recognize a bear’s defensive and offensive behaviors during a close encounter and how the bear’s response should dictate your own reaction.
Then, on Saturday, Aug. 29, enjoy a delicious Bear Box Takeout Lunch catered by Pig + Fig Café. Takeout boxes can be picked up at the restaurant in White Rock or at the Los Alamos Nature Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., but the lunches must be pre-ordered by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The boxes are $25 for PEEC members and $30 for non-members.
“The menu for this event is loosely inspired by the diet of our local bears,” PEEC’s Marketing Manager Rachel Landman said. “Some don’t realize that black bears are omnivores and enjoy eating seeds, berries, acorns and greens in addition to meats.”
The to-go boxes will feature salmon with herbed cream cheese and toast points. Vegetarians can dine on stuffed mushrooms filled with nuts and fruit instead. All boxes will include fresh berries, a cucumber dill salad, a macaron and a beverage.
PEEC’s regular Sunday yoga class will also be bear-themed in honor of the Bear Festival. Join Christa Tyson at 10 a.m. for a virtual yoga class, which will feature some bear-inspired poses. Yoga can also help us stay calm and clear-headed during the challenges of life. Can you apply this same mentality if you encounter a bear on the trail? Practice getting into this mindset during this yoga session.
“Regular yoga practice also helps build physical strength, so you can be strong like a bear!” Tyson said.
Finally, the live event schedule will wrap up on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. with a live-streamed from Dr. Kathleen Ramsay of the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation called “Backyard Bears”. Dr. Ramsay will discuss how black bears access food in our backyards and what we can do as individuals and communities to keep our yards and homes bear-safe.
Registration for all live events is required at peecnature.org. The two talks and yoga class will be held via Zoom and registered participants will receive an email with the meeting link and password to watch the live-stream.
“We hope to see everyone virtually for this year’s Bear Festival, so we can continue learning about these incredible creatures and what we can do to keep bears and ourselves safe,” Landman said. “Thank you so much to Century Bank for making this year’s event possible!”
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. The Los Alamos Nature Center is currently closed due to COVID-19, but there are many ways to learn about nature and interact with PEEC online. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.