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The Wishing Tree x Craft Beer Market

BC Parks Foundation launches ambitious 25×25 campaign with The Wishing Tree

Barge Chilling Beach in English Bay, now sans the barge, has a new reason to draw visitors in.

As taken from the press release, “The Wishing Tree is an interactive, dynamic collection of British Columbian’s wishes for preserving nature that will set the pace for action in achieving the protection of 25% of the land and sea in this province by 2025”. Hence the clever campaign name of “25×25”. The Wishing Tree is a literal tree, a special elm lit with “thousands of lights, and hundreds of wishes already sent in”. Up until March 5th, 2023 “The Wishing Tree will be lit up to serve as a reminder that we can and must reverse climate change, tackle biodiversity loss and boost wildlife populations in this Province.”

“At the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal in December, 190 countries signed on to protect 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 to help reverse biodiversity loss on earth. The Government of British Columbia has also established a target of protecting 30% of BC by 2030, in collaboration with indigenous people. The 25×25 goal inspires British Columbians to protect and enjoy more of BC in the next three years, showing tangible progress on the way to 30×30.”

“For every wish made, donors will put $10 towards creating more parks and protected areas for British Columbians and the other species to enjoy now and forever.” It is a reminder all that we all
“play a huge role in preserving wild spaces. That the province is home to a quarter of the world’s coastal rain forest and has significant tracts of pristine wilderness, and as British Columbians we have a lot of work to do to help reach the 25×25 goal. The hope is that “collecting people’s hopes, dreams and wishes for this work will keep us all motivated and inspired.”

Now at the tail end of its 1-month life, the green lit elm is still on display, but the handwritten wishes themselves have been spread out amongst more accessible wooden tree frames. The latter is a great way to protect them from the elements and have all the wishes made on wooden tags accessible for anyone to handle and read. We took the time in the dark of night to go over a few, and as intended, they were both sentimental and motivational.

And seeing as we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to have a bite at Craft Beer Market’s newest location. This would be my first visit and I had no idea how large of a space they held. Two stories that extended down the length of the building. Each room/section with its own vibe. We would be seated on their heated patio, now covered for the season, but made cozy with the ornamental Volkswagen caravan refurbished and designed to build the scene alongside a roaring fire pit. This gave diners and drinkers camp indoors, crafting (intentional pun) the perfect setting to have you craving a pint or two.

And seeing as we were in the mood and arena of charitable giving, I ordered a pint of Granville Island’s limited release fundraising Hefe to have with our meal below.

My guest and I would both order one of their burgers, reading that each is made with hand -smashed patties from naturally raised beef from Beretta Farms, which is then served on a butter toasted potato roll, and served with your choice of sides from fries, mixed greens, or a kale caesar. Plus, the option to upgrade and substitute with sweet potato fries, poutine, mac and cheese, or soup. We would both stick to regular fries, for the classic combination.

I ordered the AC Burger, being intrigued that it was a menu collaboration between Craft and celebrity chef Alex Chen. Although, sadly I found nothing different or all that special about the burger. Two beef patties, white cheddar, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and bacon aioli. I would have liked a topping/ingredient that would have taken this burger from every day to exceptional. Something signature to stamp the burger as one from the mind of Alex Chen. A punchier sauce or more of it, as I did not get any of the advertised bacon in the aioli. I liked how the lettuce and lengthy pickle slice draped over the edge of the burger. But the patties themselves were on the dry side, and would have been a lot more enjoyable, juicier and pinker at the centre, to better contrast the charred ends.

My guest would get the Cheddar Bacon Burger with two beef patties, bacon, white cheddar, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and Craft’s signature burger sauce. She had the same to say regarding her double beef patties being hard and dry. Though she was happy with the extra salt and flavour that the bacon provided. I wished I got this burger instead, or the fried chicken one.

In short, this is a fun date night idea, and a display worth checking out before it is discontinued, and the trees are removed from the West End after March 5th. Although, “the online campaign will continue to raise money to protect 25% of BC’s lands by 2025, one wish at a time.” To learn more about BC Parks Foundation’s 25×25 campaign and what how you can make a donation, visit the link below.


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