boiling maple sap

January 10, 2022

SIU’s Touch of Nature presenting Maple Syrup Production Demonstration Jan. 30

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Each spring, Southern Illinois University Carbondale hosts the very popular Maple Syrup Festival at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, and a new event is being added earlier in the lineup – a Maple Syrup Production Demonstration on Jan. 30, 2022.

The event, set for 1-4 p.m., will be a hands-on experience and everyone is welcome to participate. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending must follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols and wear masks in shared indoor spaces.  

Informative and enjoyable

The session, illustrating how plants make their food, where maple syrup comes from, how the maple sap flows and how syrup is produced, will cover a wide variety of topics, presented in an entertaining format. Participants will 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 and tap it.
  • 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 $15. Registration is required by Jan. 28, but organizers suggest signing up early. Register at

For more information about the demonstration, contact Erik Oberg at 618-453-3945 or

Plans are also underway for the traditional Maple Syrup Festival Feb. 26-27, 2022. More details are coming soon about that event.

Learn more about Touch of Nature at, by calling 618-453-1121 or by emailing