March 02, 2004

Touch of Nature hosting breakfast, syrup making

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Grab the kids and come out to Touch of Nature Environmental Center for hotcakes - with homemade maple syrup - followed by a syrup-making demonstration on Saturday, March 6. It will be last time the center will offer the activity to the general public this year.

Breakfast is at 10 a.m., followed by syrup making at noon.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale runs the outdoor center, a perfect place to get outside and enjoy nature's bounty.

The demonstration will show you how to select the best tree, tap it, 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.

Enhancing community outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern@150, the long-range plan for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.