Get sappy at the nature center

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 4, 2015


Although all the available maple trees at the Lloyd Stage Nature Center are officially tapped out, you can see how sap becomes syrup during Maple Syrup Time — Past & Present being held on the first three Saturdays in March.

The Troy Nature Society and the Troy Historical Society join forces annually to present the event. Every half hour, participants will hit the trails on a 1 1/2 hour guided hike through the preserve to see how sap is harvested, visit the sugar shed to observe a wood-stoked evaporator in action and meet a re-enactor to learn more about life in the early 1800s in the Troy area. The tour concludes with mini-waffles topped with real maple syrup and other maple treats.

“We like to keep it a very hands-on activity. We practice what it’s like to drill a tree,” said Debbie Williams, lead naturalist at the nature center. “It’s a great experience and a lot of fun for families.”

She said the event usually draws about 1,000 people.

Williams explained that the sap starts flowing when the spring thaw begins, and then stops flowing when the weather is warm enough for the tree to start growing.

“The sap could flow for five to six weeks or only two weeks,” she said. 

The Troy Nature Society kicked off the 2015 Maple Sugar season with the Adopt-A-Tree program on Feb. 28.  Nearly 90 attended to tap their very own maple tree. Participants received assistance from instructors on how to tap the trees.

“The response this year was really good,” said Carla Reeb, executive director of the Troy Nature Society. “We maxed out on the taps.”

Maple Syrup Time — Past and Present will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 7, 14 and 21. The cost for nonmembers is $8 for those ages 13 and older and $6 for children ages 4-12. The cost is $6 for members of the Troy Nature Society and Troy Historical Society. Maple syrup and candy will be available for purchase. Registration is strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis. Register online at www.troy or call (248) 688-9703.

The Lloyd Stage Nature Center is located at 6685 Coolidge.