BEAVERCREEK — Families can learn about maple sugaring this winter through Greene County Parks & Trails’ tours and rent-a-bucket program.
Groups of ten or more can enjoy a private tour of the Sugar Grove led by park agency naturalists at Narrows Reserve, Sperling Lane Entrance. Tours can be arranged on weekdays between Monday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Feb. 16. The tours are also suitable for schools, scouts and civic organizations. The program meets school proficiency standards.
Participants will learn how sap is formed and transformed into syrup using Native American techniques and modern-day techniques. Warm maple syrup samples are offered at the end of each tour.
Families can also rent a sugar bucket for $50 to collect their own sap at the Sugar Bush at Narrows Reserve, 2575 Indian Ripple Road. The program will also be offered between Monday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Feb. 16.
Each rented maple sugar bucket will be labeled with a family’s name. Families will learn how to tap a maple tree and collect sap. They can also take tours to visit their buckets and see how much sap has been collected. When collecting is over, the sap will be cooked down and served as syrup at the GCP&T pancake breakfast. Rent-a-bucket families will receive a complimentary pass to the breakfast for four individuals.
The GCP&T Annual Pancake Breakfast, which will be held 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3 at Bellbrook Middle School, will include maple syrup, pancakes, sausage, milk, coffee, tea and juice.
For groups interested in taking a tour of the Sugar Grove, pre-registration is required by Monday, Jan. 29, by calling GCP&T Chief Naturalist Cris Barnett at 937-562-6474 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $4 per Greene County resident and $5 per non-resident.
Pre-registration for families to rent a maple sugar bucket is required by Friday, Feb. 9. Interested individuals can call GCP&T at 937-562-6440, visit www.gcparkstrails.com or email email@example.com for more information. Cost is $50 per bucket/per year.
News report compiled by Anna Bolton.