There is nothing better than the arrival of spring which allows us to get outside and enjoy nature. March 23 marks the date of the 32nd annual Maple Syrup Saturday at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton, where guests will get the opportunity to experience the particularly mysterious natural phenomenon of maple syruping.
“It’s fascinating to see how the process works,” says Randy Tuma, executive director at the Preserve. “In this age of technology, we still can’t figure out exactly how the environment produces maple syrup.”
The event will consist of a sugar bush tour and breakfast, with plenty of syrup, of course. According to Tuma, guests can choose to participate in the breakfast, the tour or both.
Preregistration is encouraged for those interested in attending breakfast, with seatings at 9:30am, 10am and 10:30am. Breakfast will be served in the Preserve’s Girl Scout Center and will consist of eggs, sausage and pancakes with maple syrup.
The tour begins with a hike from the Nature Center to the sugar bush, where the process of tapping a maple tree will be demonstrated. The tour will then progress to the Sugar Shack, where the sap will be cooked down, finished and jarred. Afterwards, maple syrup sundaes will be provided at the Nature Center. Unlimited tours will be given between 10am—3pm.
At the Nature Center, guests can purchase maple syrup, maple candy and tools to try their own tapping. In the event of good weather, 800 or more participants are expected to attend throughout the day.
Maple syruping is a dying art that requires a lot of time and delicate precision, Tuma says, so this event is a great introduction for guests of all ages.
“It’s great to see the commitment to come out, you can shake off the cabin fever, and smell the taste of spring,” he says.
The Community Foundation of the Fox Valley is sponsoring the tour, and Aramark is sponsoring the breakfast. For more information, call the Preserve at 731-6041.
—By Sara Stein