Eco-Tourism in Pemberton — Visit & Tread Lightly
Photo by Dave Steers
Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Before Pemberton became Pemberton, it was the traditional territory of the Lil'wat Nation. For thousands of years, the Pemberton Valley has been home to lush, fertile land that has sustained generations of families.
EcoTourism Before There was EcoTourism
Pemberton Valley welcomes visitors who want to experience our valley: Adventurers, agritourism lovers, backcountry enthusiasts and simply those who want to experience a village where horses trot down the main streets and can be seen tied up in front of our grocery store.
You know who you are.
You're all welcome here. And we love showing you our village, our way of life, our unique, rural, adventure-loving self. We especially love it, though, when visitors come wanting to learn a bit about who we are, where come from, and with an understanding of our culture. In other words, we love ecotourism.
Pemberton Valley is seed potato country. What that means is that we are a unique, virus-free area which grown 30 different varieties of seed potato shipped all over North America. There is actually a seed potato inspector who ensures the valley is, in fact, virus-free. With 10 different potato growing families still in the valley, that is both what we have been known for over one hundred years, and what we hope to be known for into the future.
Slow Food Cycle Sunday
Our largest and most well-known agritourism/ecotourism event is called Slow Food Cycle Sunday. Every year, we welcome cyclists to our farms to introduce them to where their food comes from and how it's grown. On some of our farms, you'll find live bands, and we'll try to sell you delicious treats made from food we have grown. It's great: you're hungry and thirsty from your cycle, and there we are, ready to feed and water you. (wink).
We love Slow Food Cycle Sunday — but we also want you to realize that this is our busiest season. We're busy during summer. Though it's a great chance for us to show off what we do and help you learn to love your food and the farms that grow it a little more, we hope you realize that we can't just take the day off during our busiest season. Please watch for our slow-moving farm vehicles. We know, they're slow.
Berries and Bears — Both Staples in Pemberton
If you do visit during Slow Food Cycle Sunday, take note of our newest crop: cranberries! Yum! You might notice a few guests in the fields as you cycle, taking advantage of our newest crop as well as other delicious munchies: both black and grizzly bears live among us. You may very well see a few on your ride.
Actually, if you choose to cycle on any other day, you may also see bears, so take care. They're much more interested in eating berries than eating you, but you should still use care and discretion and don't surprise them! For more information on being bear aware, see this helpful site.
Pemberton's Natural Beauty
Pemberton is home to much more than just farmland — though that is a wonderful part of our history and present-day culture. Our natural beauty extends to the lakes, the hot springs, the Pemberton Ice Field and so much more. Take a look at a few of the many features around Pemberton you can explore and, if you're feeling adventurous, take some inspiration from this article on adventure tourism that highlights some of the more extreme sports to take part in our valley.
Learn About Our Natural Flora, Too
We've mentioned this before, but one aspect of our valley we love to share (as long as you take pictures, and not actual plants home with you) is our natural wildflowers and plants. Pemberton Valley has nourished people for thousands of years, and we've got quite a story of edible plants to learn about. Learn from local wildcrafters and herbalists, and become inspired by all that grows around you.
One of the most well-loved aspects of Pemberton culture is our equestrianism. You will find horses downtown, and you will find that there are quite a few permanent residents who use horses as transportation. With several opportunities to ride horses, you certainly should take advantage of this if you have the time. Pemberton and horses go together like, well, like peanut butter and jam. Yep. It's true.
Come for a Visit, Stay for Awhile
We love showing visitors around, and when tourists come ready to learn a little about our area, all the better. Take some time to slow down, visit our farms, get to know our valley and culture. We can't wait to see you!...