February 19, 2008

Additional Maple Syrupin' Workshop on tap

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Due to intense popular demand, Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Touch of Nature Environmental Center will offer an additional Maple Syrupin' Workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 2.

The initial February event quickly filled up. With such a long waiting list, organizers decided to give those eager for a chance to tap trees and learn all the ins and outs of making maple syrup a chance to do so. Reservations for the three-hour workshop are due no later than Friday, Feb. 22, by calling 618/453-1121.

The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5-10 years. Registration is limited to the first 50 to sign up and there won't be additional sessions.

The workshop is a hands-on afternoon happening where participants discover how Native Americans and later the early settlers harvested the sugar maple sap and cooked it over the fire. Participants will become skilled at identifying sugar maple trees and learn about the tree physiology, including how and why it produces the sap. 'Syrupers" will explore the legends and lore of the annual right of spring known as maple syrup harvesting and can try their hand at the harvesting process.

For more information contact Kate Hellgren, environmental education program coordinator at Touch of Nature, at 618/453-1122, ext. 250 or by e-mail at kateh4@siu.edu.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located seven miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.