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Sign up now for SIU’s Touch of Nature two maple syrup demonstrations

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Maple syrup collection

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center is home to the popular annual Maple Syrup Festival, set for March 25-26 this year. Before that, the center is hosting two hands-on Maple Syrup Production Demonstrations, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Both workshop-style events will be from for 1-4 p.m. and provide all of the detailed instructions needed to enable participants to make their own maple syrup. The demonstrations will be held:

Informative and enjoyable
The sessions will cover a wide variety of topics and step-by-step lessons on the process of making maple syrup, all presented in an entertaining format. Participants will discover how plants make their food, where maple syrup comes from, how the maple sap flows and how syrup is produced. They’ll also learn the history of maple sugaring in North America and the science behind its production as well as how to:

  • Identify and select the correct sugar maple trees and tap them.
  • Collect and store the sap.
  • Convert the sap into syrup using the boil-down method.

Those attending are encouraged to dress for the weather, as the program will take place largely outdoors at the camp, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.
Additional topics may include:

  • How climate change is affecting maple trees.
  • Tree physiology.
  • Photosynthesis.
  • Forest ecology.

Sign up now
The cost of the Maple Syrup Production Demonstration is $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 14 and younger. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for the first workshop is due Jan. 12. Sign up online. Register online for the February workshop by Feb. 9.

Organizers suggest signing up early. For more information about the demonstration, contact Sydney Pogue at 618-453-3950 or sydney.pogue@siu.edu.

Plans are also underway for the traditional Maple Syrup Festival. More details are coming soon.

Learn more about Touch of Nature at ton.siu.edu, by calling 618-453-1121 or by emailing tonec@siu.edu.

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