Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 19: Free maple fest

NORTH AURORA – Red Oak Nature Center will be offering an early, sweet taste of spring on Saturday, March 19, when the annual MapleFest takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Programs begin on the hour (last one at 1 p.m.) and will treat visitors to free demonstrations of how maple sap is turned into delicious maple syrup. Groups will venture into the woods to tap a maple tree, then witness the process of how sap is boiled and converted into syrup. Group taste-testings will follow.

“Early spring is the perfect time to collect maple sap because the days are getting warmer but the nights are still cold,” said Margaret Gazdacka, facility supervisor at Red Oak. “Visitors will get to witness this age-old practice of taking sap from a tree and turning it into the syrup you use on your pancakes.”

Admission is free and registration is not required. Maple-themed treats and hot beverages will be available for a small fee. Red Oak Nature Center is located on Route 25 in North Aurora, one mile north of Route 56. For more information, contact Red Oak at 630-897-1808 or visit the District’s website at

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