Maple Sugarin’ with DCP


Staff report

DARKE COUNTY — Thawing days and freezing nights can only mean one thing: it’s maple sugarin’ time!

Every year, the Darke County Park district gathers and boils hundreds of gallons of maple sap. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one delicious gallon of maple syrup. The process is time consuming, but oh so rewarding! Volunteers and staff put in countless hours so that this process can take place.

The syrup that is produced is eventually made available for purchase in the gift shop at Shawnee Prairie Preserve and the Bish Discovery Center. Visit Shawnee Prairie Preserve Mar. 1 to 6, anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., to walk through the self-guided maple trail, and learn all about the science and history of maple syrup. The sugar shack will be open, depending on sap availability, so stop in to get a glance at the boiling process turning sap into syrup!

To ensure you get some pure Darke County maple syrup, be sure to “Sponsor a Bucket,” as sponsors will get first dibs at syrup in the event of a low production year. Join the Sponsor a Bucket Membership by visiting, or call the nature center at 937-548-0165. Each sponsor will have their name placed on a sap bucket along the maple trail. If you are interested in volunteering in the sap boiling process, contact Kathy at the nature center at 937-548-0165. This is a great opportunity to learn the process behind the production of maple syrup!

The annual Waffle Breakfast hosted by the Friends of the Darke County Parks has been cancelled for 2022.

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