The sugar maple tree is a Midwestern favorite enjoyed for its range of brilliant colors in the autumn and valued for its wood and sap. At this time of year, as the cold winter weather eases, sugar maple trees begin the process of turning stored starch into sugar. The tree's sap is produced when the sugar combines with water in the ground. The sap is harvested by tapping into the trees. It is then boiled over a wood fire creating an evaporation process from which a syrup results. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. Maple syrup-making is an age-old tradition in North America and the syrup has been used, along with honey, as a sweetener since colonial days. For the next few weekends you will have an opportunity to join a Lincoln Memorial Garden naturalist as they demonstrate the entire maple syrup-making process, from tree tapping to the delicious finished product. Bring the kids, check the weather and dress accordingly. The program will begin at the Nature Center.

Maple syrup-making

Saturdays and Sundays through March 15
1-2 p.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Lincoln Memorial Garden

2301 E. Lake Shore Dr.

217-529-1111

Free

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