Maple Syrup Harvest is Short but Sweet!

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The Sweetest Natural Resource

maplesyrupNear winter’s end, the people who live in deciduous forests have an opportunity like none other… to tap for sap water. Not just any sap but the kind which contains natural sugar that when forced to evaporate gives us the sweetest natural resource for the taking, maple syrup. Maple Syrup Fest will be this Saturday, March 1 from 9 am to 4:30 pm at the Natural Resource Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve in Genoa.

On Saturday March 1st, to the delight of many, the University of Illinois Extension’s natural resource staff will once again be putting the tap to the trees in Russell Woods Forest Preserve, located one mile west of Genoa, Illinois on Route 72. From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the staff will be hosting their annual Maple Syrup Fest. Included in the day are on the hour discussions of the history of maple syrup, how to identify the right tree and a hike to the woods to tap one of their own. Before or after the hike friends can chat with volunteers outside at the evaporator pans over the open fire as we wait for that amber treat.

Learn how people through the ages, and even animals like woodpeckers, have tapped maple trees for maple sap. Programs begin on the hour: 9, 10 and 11 a.m.; noon and 1 p.m. Registration is required for groups of 10 or more only. Maple-themed snacks and hot beverages will be available for a small fee (cash or check only). This event goes rain, snow or shine.

The day is free but they always graciously accept donations to support the programming. So set the day aside for friends and family and join them for a day in the woods. For questions about the day call the University of Illinois Extension/Natural Resource Center at 815-784-2000.

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