Maple Syrup Season Begins

Friday February 20th, 2015

Posted at 10:00am


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Young and old gather around the taffy board as costumed interpreters recreate the sweet first taste of spring

With the never ending cold and snow on the ground, Spring sure feels like a long way off, but at the John R. Park Homestead the first sign of spring will soon be here – maple syrup season.

The John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area is now booking its popular maple education programs and group tours, offered from February 23rd until March 27th.

Costumed guides will be making maple syrup and sugar the pioneer way and you are invited to get involved at every stage. Discover the tradition that began with the First Nations. Outdoors, get up-close and see the trees tapped and the sap boiling in a large iron cauldron. Go inside to help with the finishing of the syrup on the 1850s’ kitchen fireplace. At the modern visitor centre, knowledgeable staff will teach you the science behind maple syrup. Children can participate with various hands-on activities; try a brace and bit drill, carry pails of sap using an old-fashioned yoke and taste some pure maple sugar.

New this year, ERCA will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Canada’s National Flag. The Homestead will host an original maple leaf flag which flew on Parliament Hill in February of 1965, the year it was officially adopted as Canada’s national symbol.

The Homestead’s maple programs are appropriate for any age, explains Curator Kris Ives: “We tailor our program to meet the appropriate grade level and curriculum links, or special interests that the group may have. The sweet subject matter is interesting to everyone. This program often attracts Girl Guide and Scout troops, seniors’ groups, day camps, church groups, New Canadians and many others. Our maple programs are also available en francais on select days.”

Bookings are available for half day (1.5 hour) or full day (4 hour) programs. The maple syrup experience can also be combined with one of the Homestead’s other popular pioneer or nature programs. Pure local maple syrup, maple butter and maple sugar are offered for sale in the Homestead gift shop.

Spaces are limited for this program, as the season only lasts a few weeks. To ensure your group is able to attend, contact the Homestead to reserve a date; call: (519) 738-2029, or email [email protected] The Homestead is located at 915 County Road 50, at the corner of Iler Road on the lake shore.

To find out more about the Homestead’s maple offerings, check them out online. 


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