During maple sugaring season, maple syrup festivals, tours and open house events are held annually and here is a list of some that are coming up.
Maple Syrup 101
Lima, OH – Maple Syrup 101 will be held 10 a.m. to noon Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at McLean Teddy Bear Park, 2004 N. Dixie Highway, Lima. Learn about the biology of maple syrup, some of its cultural history and enjoy a short hike through the woods
The Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Parks District will highlight how maple syrup has played a large role in the 50-year history of the park district. There is limited space, so register online by Friday and be prepared for the weather and ground conditions.
Teddy Bear Park
2004 N Dixie Highway
Blandford Nature Center
Grand Rapids, MI. — Blandford Nature Center will be offering program throughout the month of March to help visitors learn the history, art and science of how turn raw organic maple tree sap into syrup and maple sugar.
According to Sidney Baxter, Marketing and Communications Manager at Blandford Nature Center “We actually live in a pretty special part of the world where you can find these trees, and typically, when you find a sugar maple, you find an area of sugar maples. So that’s why it’s called a sugar bush.”
When asked “how do you identify a maple tree?”
“The bark is, we like to tell children on field trips and stuff, that it kind of looks like Frosted Flakes, it looks a little gray and kind of has almost a frosty looking coating on it,” said Baxter “You can tell by the branches because they have opposite branches. So, we like to say that it’s almost like giving you a hug. And it’s sweet, just like sugar. So that is another way. And then you can tell by the buds because they kind of look like party hats, and they’re nice and brown.”
Tapping into a maple tree takes a little effort.
“You have to drill into it and just drill into the sapwood part of it, not into the heartwood, which gives the tree the strength and that’s in the dead center of it,” Baxter added. “But if you go about four inches in, you’re gonna be in the sapwood.”
The next step is to insert the spile or spout into the hole and the sap will drip into the bucket.
Once enough sap has been collected, it is time to boil off the water to make the syrup.
“It’s usually about eight hours to boil a good amount of sap,” said Baxter “So it takes actually 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.”
Although this maple program is designed for children ages 1-5 and their caregivers it is fun for the whole family so bring all the kids. However, older children are welcome but should be prepared for the slower pace of this program. It runs about 45- to 60-minute and will feature a story, a chance to help tap a tree, a visit to the Sugarhouse, including tasting a of maple syrup, and a take-home craft. This program will run rain, snow or shine, so dress for the weather! Registration is required for all participants, including children under 12 months.
Member Adult: $5
Member Child (Ages 1+) : $5
Non-Member Adult: $8
Non-Members Child (Ages 1+): $8
Infants Under 12 months: Free (registration still required)
Attention: This program will take place mainly outdoors but may have indoor portions. Crafts may be done indoors depending on weather conditions including rain or wind.
Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI