DARKE COUNTY — The maple sap is beginning to run, and Darke County Parks’ volunteers and staff will soon fire up the sugar shack for the maple sugaring season.
Freezing nights and thawing days cause the sap to move, bringing the syrup one step closer to the table. Although the persistence of COVID-19 will prevent gathering for the waffle breakfast this year, DCP will still be celebrating the sweetness of the season. Maple Sugarin’ tours and sugar shack visits at Shawnee Prairie, located at 4267 St. Rt. 502 in Greenville, will be self-led with optional video programming. Self-led tours will be during daylight hours only from Saturday, Mar. 6 through Friday, Mar. 12, 2021. Call ahead for Sugar Shack boiling times to get a glance at the boiling process turning sap into syrup.
Residents can also support Darke County Parks by sponsoring a bucket. Each sponsor will have their name placed on a sap bucket along the self-guided trail during the Maple Sugarin’ Event. “Fancy Grade” sponsors will still receive a decorative maple leaf bottle of syrup, but in lieu of waffle breakfast tickets, they will take home stone-ground whole wheat pancake mix made by Historic Bear’s Mill. Secure a bottle of Darke County maple syrup and sponsor a bucket by visiting www.darkecountyparks.org
Be sure to stop in at the Nature Center where maple syrup and various goodies will be available for sale during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gift shop supplies will be limited. For more information, call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or email [email protected]