Monday, March 12, 2012

March 17: MapleFest at Red Oak Nature Center

NORTH AURORA – Red Oak Nature Center will be offering an early, sweet taste of spring on Saturday, March 17, when the annual MapleFest takes place.

The event is free to the public, with no registration required.

Tours will run every half hour beginning at 9 a.m. (final tour at 1 p.m.), with naturalists from Red Oak leading visitors to various stations in the woods to view demonstrations of how maple sap is harvested and turned into delicious maple syrup. Each group will tap a maple tree, then witness the process of how sap is boiled and converted into syrup. Group taste-tests 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.”

Maple-themed treats and hot beverages will be available for a small fee. A new feature this year will include items for sale from Vermont – the maple syrup-producing capital of the world – that include small bottles of maple syrup, maple-flavored cotton candy and maple lollipops.

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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