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Feel like a sap? Learn how to make maple syrup

| Sunday, March 5, 2006

Most people don't think much about the maple syrup they pour over their hotcakes.

But a group of maple syrup enthusiasts ventured to the North Park Nature Center Barn on Saturday to learn the art of making maple syrup. The event was sponsored by the Allegheny County Parks Department.

Participants learned how to tap trees, collect and boil the sap and prepare table-ready maple syrup at home.

And not to worry for those who missed yesterday's demonstrations. Two additional maple sugaring festivals are scheduled this month.

The Boyce Park Nature Center and Greenhouse on Old Frankstown Road in Plum will host a festival from 11 a.m. to noon on March 11. Participants will learn the history and lore of the maple-sugaring process from Boyce Park Interpretive Naturalist Tammy Watychowicz. For more information, call (724) 733-4618.

And the 2006 Round Hill Maple Sugaring Program will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m . March 18 at the Round Hill Visitors Center off Round Hill Road in Elizabeth Township. South Park Interpretive Naturalist John Doyle will demonstrate traditional and Native-American methods for maple syrup production. Samples of maple-sassafras tea and fresh maple taffy will be available. Additional information is available by calling (412) 835-0143.

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