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Local Matters Guide | A monthly guide to unique gifts, experiences and adventures

Western New Year offers plenty of wonderful opportunities to relax, explore, and learn. Whether its strawberry picking, brunch, and enjoying bottomless cidermosas at Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards, selecting a new objet d’art at the Garden Walk Buffalo’s annual Art Sale at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens which features dozen of vendors in a wide array of mediums, take a waterfront walk and use this free guide to discover 41 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ground covers, vines, and perennials in the free guide “Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines,” or celebrate PRIDE with preservation and learn about Western New York’s LGBTQ History.

Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards

This summer Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards is hosting a number of great weekly activities. Visit the petting zoo, play ground, farm market and bakery! The brewpub continues to be open Thursday-Sunday for wine beer tasting and food.

U-Pick Fruit all summer, right now U-Pick Strawberries. To pick head to the farm market to purchase your picking containers located at the main entrance closest to the road. From there you will be directed to the field we are picking in. The shuttle is available at the top of every hour weekends only between 11-3pm. You may walk to and from the field anytime between 10am -5:30pm after checking in at the farm market and purchasing your containers. We ask that all guests are out of the fields no later than 5:30. We encourage guests to enjoy the beautiful walk. Remember to wear comfortable shoes, pack a wagon or bring a jogging stroller for your convenience. Feel free to pack a water bottle too! Click here for additional details.

Thirsty Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 pm which includes two Glasses of wine and whole pizza for $27. Friday Comedy Night from 4:00 – 8:00 pm.
Saturday‘s feature Bottomless Cidermosa Brunch through August from Noon to 2:00 pm. Enjoy bottomless cidermosas and a seasonally inspired menu conveniently packed “to go” to enjoy anywhere on the grounds or in the beer garden. Menu includes: Seasonal Farm Egg Fritatta or Quiche, Seasonal House Salad, Home Fries, Sausage Links, Warm Rolled Oats, and a Farm Bakery Treat. $32 or $25 Non – Alcoholic | Dietary Restrictions can be accommodated. Also on Saturday‘s Live Music from 5:00 – 9:00 pm in the Beer Garden. Sunday Family Day with Owner Melinda Vizcarra

3724 Quaker Rd., Gasport, NY 14067 | 716-772-2211
Brewpub Hours – Sun: 11:00 am-6:00 pm, Mon-Wed: 11:00 am-6:00 pm, Thurs-Sat: 11:00 am-9:00 pm
Farm Market Hours – Wed-Sun: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
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Garden Walk Buffalo presents their annual Art Sale at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

One of the summer’s most unique events takes advantage of Buffalo Niagara’s ever-growing and enthusiastic gardening community. No garden is complete without art. Need something unique and/or handmade to complete your garden? Visit more than 50 vendors of nature-themed items or works that can be displayed in a garden setting – in many mediums: sculpture, metalwork, paintings, woodwork, architectural remnants, found art, ceramics, planters – anything that looks good in a garden! Enjoy the food trucks and an awesome basket raffle! Free – no tickets or reservations required! If you’d like to visit the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens while your at the Art Sale, visit their website to reserve an eTicket! Click here for a list of Vendors. Art in the form of Sculpture | Pottery, Glass & Stone | Mixed Media | Jewelry | Wood

Saturday, June 26 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday June 27 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14218
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Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines

Cottonwood and willows, both water-loving species, help stabilize barrier beaches. Photo credit: Roy Widrig/New York Sea Grant

This free guide offers nature-based alternatives or improvements to traditional “gray” structures such as concrete seawalls, steel sheet piles, and rock rip-rap. Public and private property owners can use the guide to select the right plant for the right place to revitalize the state’s Great Lakes’ freshwater shorelines.

New York Sea Grant Coastal Hazards and Processes Specialist Roy Widrig authored the 24-page guide that includes a list of 41 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ground covers, vines, and perennials with the preferred shoreline setting for each. Detailed photos and ideal growing conditions accompany each plant on the list. “Reestablishing natural, stable shoreline slopes and transition zones from lake to upland areas rehabilitates habitat for native birds, fish, mammals, and insects while beautifying the waterfront, and it can aid in controlling shoreline erosion; and improve drainage and water quality,” says Widrig.

The New York State Environmental Protection Fund under the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act provided funding for this native plants publication. Funding through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will assist with publication distribution. Print copies will also be available by calling New York Sea Grant’s Oswego office at 315-312-3042.

NYSG is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program. Since 1971, New York Sea Grant has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness and understanding of the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

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Celebrate Pride and discover more about WNY’s LGBTQ history with Preservation Buffalo Niagara 

Go beyond the rainbow and celebrate Pride with Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) and learn about Western New York’s LGBTQ History, with a virtual lecture on June 29 at 6:00 PM, “From the Queen City to the Big Apple: LGBTQ Historical Connections in WNY and NYC“. This event will explore some of the landmarks of the gay liberation movement in both New York City and Western New York and gain new insights into similarities and differences between each city’s activities in the movement. Discussing the Western New York sites will be Dr. Jeffry Iovannone, cofounder of PBN’s Gay Places Initiative. Founded in 2020 as a joint project between PBN and Dr. Iovannone, PBN’s Gay Places Initiative is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and celebrating LGBTQ historic sites in Western New York.

Joining Dr. Iovannone will be Ken Lustbader and Jay Shockley of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project to discuss the New York City sites. Officially launched in 2015, the Project’s mission is to make an invisible history visible by identifying extant historic LGBTQ properties that will establish a visceral link to New York City’s past, document the community’s impact on American history and culture, and educate the public on what has been a largely unknown narrative. The presentation will also feature a special message from Daniel Mackay, Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at State of New York Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) helps communities identify, evaluate, preserve, and revitalize their historic, archeological, and cultural resources.

This virtual lecture is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required; visit to register. For more information, please contact Tia Brown at, or call 716-852-3300.

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Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is an author, speaker, coach, marketer, and business development strategist. Her professional consulting company, MEMC handles all aspects of marketing and business development planning and implementation, assisting with strategic planning initiatives and the creation of marketing action plans, as well as planning and executing private and public events, including: the coaching of individuals, multi-day conferences, as well as other development initiatives. In addition to her work with MEMC, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic marketing efforts at Local Matters, Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Rising.

She is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards, such as WNY Heritage Magazine, O'Connell & Company Productions, and the Women's Business Center (WBC) Advisory Board. She is also a Democratic Committee Member in the Town of Tonawanda. Most recently, She has been asked to serve as the Marketing Consultant for the WBC's COVID Recovery Task Force.

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