DCP teaches local students about maple syrup


Staff report

GREENVILLE — Nothing says spring at Darke County Parks more than hundreds of school children discovering the wonder of turning maple sap into syrup!

The first week of March, Shawnee Prairie Preserve was filled with kids learning the science, history and production of maple syrup. Naturalist staff led over 200 children along the maple sugarin’ trail ending in the sugar shack and log house.

Volunteers Dudley and Barbie Hansbarger dressed in historical attire to interpret life in the log house 200 years ago, as well as what a day looked like for a Native American at a sugar camp. Park Director Roger Van Frank, even slipped out of the office one day to do what he loves best, interpreting the history of making maple sugar! Maintenance staff took part in explaining the evaporator in the sugar shack. Students were then able to sample maple sugar, and maple syrup at the end of their tour.

Those interested in purchasing some of the maple syrup produced this year, it is available in the gift shop at Shawnee Prairie Nature Center. The center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Pint jars are $13.50, or two for $25. All sales support the Friends of the Darke County Parks.

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