01-Feb-2013 18-Oct-2013

One of the sweetest educational opportunities you’ll ever experience is returning to the South Nation Watershed for a 13th season. South Nation Conservation, in partnership with Sand Road Maple Farm in Moose Creek, is once again offering its popular Maple Education Program, which provides a unique, hands-on history of the production of maple syrup.

Guided by SNC interpreters, pre-booked K-12 school groups enjoy a leisurely hike through the sugar bush while learning how maple syrup makes it from the tree to your breakfast table. The bilingual program is offered March 5th through April 5th, and interested schools are urged to book their visits through SNC’s Karen Paquette at 1-877-984-2948, Ext. 286. Tours are also available for adult groups. The Sand Road log cabin remains open to all visitors even while tours are being conducted.

The two-hour tours, which follow the K-12 science curriculum, start at 9:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. To offset expenses, this year’s cost per participant is $6, which includes the tour and a maple treat. Pancake meals are also available starting at $4.50 per person. The minimum number per group is 15. To help make the program more accessible, SNC offers bussing subsidies of up to $150 per eligible school. Additionally, SNC is offering Maple Education Lesson Kits to be loaned to schools and groups who aren’t able to visit the programming site.

Program participants learn all about the evolution of the sugaring process, from boiling sap in a hollowed-out log as the aboriginals did, to the huge cast iron kettles of the early settlers, to today’s modern evaporators that transform sap into sweet-tasting maple syrup. And, if the weatherman cooperates, participants will see maple syrup being made.

While there’s plenty of fun to be had during an SNC/Sand Road outing, the true emphasis is on education, says program interpreter, Chris Craig. Students learn how to identify various tree species, woodlot management, and the role forests play within watersheds.

“Students will gain a better understanding of how humans are connected to nature, and how that connection has evolved over the years.” says Craig. “Lessons learned at Sand Road can last a lifetime.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Karen Paquette, (877) 984-2948, ext. 286.