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Press Release – Maple Syrup Day at Hartwick Pines State Park

March 22, 2010

From an MDNR Press Release…

Savor Maple Syrup Day at Hartwick Pines State Park on March 27

Hartwick Pines State Park, the Michigan Forest Visitor Center and the Logging Museum in Grayling will present Maple Syrup Day on Saturday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about North America’s oldest agricultural product — maple sugar. Visitors are invited to:

– Walk into the sugarbush to help tap a maple tree
– Observe the boil-down process which converts maple sap to maple syrup
– Learn about the history of maple sugar making in North America
– View videos titled “Maple Sugar Farmer,” “Maple Sugaring” and “The Maple Sugaring Story”
– Ask an expert about how to start making maple syrup and tap trees in your own backyard
– Taste maple sap and the finished maple syrup
– Purchase genuine maple sugar candy and syrup

Children can participate in tapping a maple tree and will learn how to build their own mokuk. A mokuk is a birch bark bucket that native peoples used to transport maple sugar. Making a paper mokuk replica provides a history lesson and discussion about how European settlers learned of the Native Americans’ sugaring culture.

Tree tapping demonstrations take place at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the sugarbush. Some visitors will have a chance to help staff tap the maple trees and all visitors can taste maple syrup and sap, smell the aroma around an outside evaporator pan and welcome spring at this educational and fun event. Maple recipes will be available for those wishing to savor the sweetness of the day.

Along with the annual Maple Syrup Day on March 27, schoolchildren will have a chance to visit the sugarbush and learn about the science and history of maple syrup making during the week of March 22-26. Interested teachers should call (989) 348-2537 to arrange a visit. Each hour-long presentation can accommodate up to three classes.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Friends of Hartwick Pines State Park cosponsor this special event. There is no fee for this event, however a Motor Vehicle Permit is required for park entry. Permits are available at the park’s entrance for $24 for a resident annual permit, $6 for a resident daily permit, $29 for a non-resident annual permit and $8 for a non-resident daily permit.
Hartwick Pines State Park is located at 4216 Ranger Rd. in Grayling.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management and accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations.

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