GREENVILLE — Many Darke County Parks’ volunteers will attend training soon to gear up for the upcoming maple sugaring season. Then they’ll wait for the weather to cooperate, so the sap can flow.
Freezing nights and thawing days will cause the sap to move, bringing the sweetness one step closer to the table. Volunteers will learn the process of boiling sap down to syrup on the parks’ evaporator. For some it will be a refresher, for others it’s an opportunity to learn a new skill and help out the park district at the same time.
The Maple Sugarin’ at the Prairie Festival will be held on March 5 , from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This late winter day at Shawnee Prairie offers guided tours through history and science learning the process of turning sap into syrup.
After the tour through the woods, visit the sugar shack, and warm up in the steam-filled evaporator room as the sap spends countless hours on a boil to reduce it down to syrup. Then head out to the log house and blacksmith shop to visit with the early settlers and discuss life on the frontier. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Finally, complete the day at the Nature Center where the gift shop will be full of maple goodies fit for any sweet tooth.
The Friends of the Parks will once again be serving up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee, and of course pure Ohio maple syrup. Carry-out is available, and extra sausage can be purchased for $1 more. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to noon.
Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the breakfast, for a $6 donation, or pre-sale tickets may be purchased at the Nature Center beginning on Monday. Call 937- 548-0165 for more information.