Maple Sugaring at Our Nature Center

Last Month, Neighborhood House had a sweet Maple Sugaring season! Maple Sugaring, or extracting the translucent sap from Maple trees and then boiling it down to syrup, is a time-sensitive process. The sap is only available when the temperature is consistently above 32 degrees during the day but below 32 degrees at night. This typically happens in March, and last month Neighborhood House took 423 people to our 93-acre Nature Center to experience this sweet activity!

Participants came from a variety programs, including students who already receive our Environmental Education lessons through their school. Led by NH staff, the Environmental Education program allows teachers to handpick what in-class lessons and offsite adventures their class will participate in. On an MPS off-day, 22 youth that regularly participate in NH’s after-school and off-day programming also made the trip to Dodge County, as did 12 students from NH’s International Learning Program. As part of our Family Adventures programming, on March 17th Maple Sugaring was offered to the public. Ages within these groups ranged from two years old to adults, making this an event everyone could enjoy!

The groups collected over 120 gallons of syrup throughout the month, which was then boiled down to about three gallons of Maple Syrup. It takes 12 hours to boil down the sap, so while participants did not see their finished product, they all received a special treat at the end of the day- vanilla ice cream topped with Maple Syrup! NH also uses this syrup throughout the year to thank donors and volunteers, and in our fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in bringing the Environmental Education program to a classroom you love, or to book a Maple Sugaring excursion for next year, contact Niki Espy at To see our current offerings of Family Adventures, please see this month’s community events.


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