Maple sugaring season is back in full swing, and to celebrate, Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve is holding a variety of maple-themed programs and events between Feb. 11 and March 8. Programs range in a series of daily group programs, on site at the center's location, as well as public programs on select weekends, at Camp Eder. All programs focus on the theme of maple sugar, the process involved in making it, and provide a fun and friendly educational experience for all who come.
Group programs will begin tomorrow, on Monday, Feb. 11 and run on weekdays between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each program is 90 minutes long, and reservations for up to 30 people can be taken per program. All participants registered for that particular time slot will be grouped together for a hands-on demonstration of the entire maple sugaring process, from learning about the history behind maple sugaring, to being led out to find a tree to tap. After the tapping in done, folks will return to the center to view the sap being heated in the evaporator. Once that is done, everyone gets a chance to take a taste of real, authentic maple syrup!
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve will also present public programs on the weekends of Feb. 23 and 24 and March 2 and 3. Saturday led programs begin at 9 a.m. and Sunday programs start at noon. Wrap up time on both days is at 3 p.m. But that's not all these weekends of Mount Hope Maple Madness mean! On the Saturday mornings of Feb. 23 and March 2, you can start the day off with a hearty pancake breakfast served between 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. In addition to flapjacks smothered in genuine maple syrup, breakfast will also include eggs, sausage, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and more. The price for breakfast is $8 for adults, $4 for children 3 to 12 and free for children under 3.
In addition to a delicious breakfast and ongoing public maple sugaring programs, enjoy some indoor warm activities, craft vendors and entertainment. Live entertainers will be at Camp Eder on Saturdays during Mount Hope Maple Madness. On Feb. 23, performer Tom Jolin will accompany the event by singing and playing folk music from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. On March 2, Gettysburg's vocalist and guitarist, Greg Daskivich will be on the scene.
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve is known for bringing to the community a wide range of educational and nature-based programs and activities, for all ages, year-round. These maple sugar programs have been an annual tradition for the last 16 to 17 years and remain a popular hit in the community, bringing in approximately 700 visitors annually. Over the years even a couple big name people have shown up at the event including Ryan Coyle, meteorologist from ABC21 TV, who came out last year to do a story on his segment called I Like Winter. Come on out for yourself and be a part of all the maple goodness in this year's events.
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve is located at 1537 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield. Camp Eder is located at 914 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield. For ticket prices or to register for programs, go to www.strawberryhill.org.