February 04, 2004

Breakfast, syrup making on tap at Touch of Nature

by Erin K. Thompson

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is offering the community a chance to tap into nature.

On Saturday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, March 6, SIUC's Touch of Nature Environmental Center is hosting a pancake breakfast with homemade maple syrup at 10 a.m., followed by a syrup-making demonstration at noon.

The demonstration will involve techniques on how to select the best tree, tap the tree and collect its sap and finally how to boil the sap into syrup. Along the way, nature interpreters will share the tradition's history and folklore. Dress for the weather and please leave pets at home.

The cost of the pancake breakfast is $10 and the maple syrup demonstration costs $5. Call 618/453-1121, ext. 237 to make reservations.

All proceeds go to the Jack Carter memorial scholarship fund. The fund honors the late father of one of Touch's long-time outdoor expedition leaders, Curt Carter. Curt, who will help lead the syrup making activities, said proceeds will pay for scholarships to a Touch-sponsored canoe-camping trip next summer for sixth-12th graders.

Touch of Nature is about seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.