When we think of a food source in Minnesota, we often consider grain fields, gardens, poultry farms, orchards, and cows. How often do we think of a maple tree? State parks are home to thousands of maple trees from which pure maple syrup is made. Attend a free program at a state park and learn about tapping maple trees while using tools found in the kitchen.
Programs start on March 3 at Whitewater State Park (near Winona). Attend the 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. program or the 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. program. Sign up by calling 507-312-2308, or by emailing email@example.com.
More maple syrup programs will take place at several Minnesota state parks throughout March and early April. For the complete schedule, and more information about how to tap trees and make maple syrup, visit www.mndnr.gov/maplesyrup.
At some parks, stop in any time for a syrup-making demonstration; others offer hands-on instruction with a taste of the finished product. Participants learn how to identify and tap the right kind of tree as well as how to boil the sap collected until it is ready to serve. It usually takes 30 to 40 gallons of tree sap to get a gallon of pure maple syrup. Usually, the best time to collect sap has been between mid-March and mid-April, when temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s during the day and below freezing at night.
The maple syrup programs at Minnesota state parks are free, but vehicle permits are required to enter the parks ($7 for a one-day permit or $35 for a year-round permit). Due to space limitations, some programs also require advance registration. Occasionally, due to extreme weather or other conditions, an event may need to be canceled or changed. When in doubt, call the park.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).