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March 11, 2014

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to correct that the pancake breakfast during the Maple Syrup Festival at the MacKenzie Center is not an all-you-can-eat breakfast. We regret the error.

POYNETTE, Wis. -- The Maple Syrup Festival, a fun-filled educational event for families, is scheduled for April 5 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the MacKenzie Center near Poynette. Maple Syrup Festival is hosted by the Friends of MacKenzie and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"The event features free guided tours of the sugarbush, demonstrations of how to tap a maple tree for sap, making syrup, interpretative talks about how Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup and current methods used in our own MacKenzie sugarbush," said Ruth Ann Lee, MacKenzie Center educator.

"This is a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring and a wonderful opportunity to learn about the sugar maple tree and the unique process of making maple syrup in our Wisconsin climate."

Participants will have the opportunity to watch home-made ice cream being churned with an antique engine, listen to live, old-time country music and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. The wildlife habitat area with animals native to Wisconsin and the museums on property also will be open.

A breakfast, sponsored by Friends of MacKenzie, will be served from 8 a.m. until noon at the main lodge. The cost is $7 for those 12 years and older and $5 for people aged 3 to 11 years. Refreshments, maple products and souvenirs will be sold by the Friends of MacKenzie. The Friends will also draw the winners for their raffle at noon.

The MacKenzie Center is located two miles east of Poynette on County Road CS/Q. For more information go to and search MacKenzie.

MacKenzie Center online chat March 18 on maple syrup, environmental education, and outdoor skills

Join MacKenzie Center staff to chat about new programs, outdoor opportunities for families, and the maple syrup program. During March and April the MacKenzie Center taps about 100 trees and teaches more than 1,200 students how to make maple syrup. People can join this online chat to learn more about the center and what it offers.

Maple syrup workshop March 29 at Crex Meadows

People interested in a more hands-on approach to making syrup can sign up to attend a two hour Maple Syrup Workshop that will be offered on Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area near Grantsburg in Burnett County.

The workshop will include the history and process of making maple syrup and demonstrations that include winter tree identification, tapping a tree, sap-collecting methods past and present, observing the boiling process, and ending with a sample of some pure maple syrup!

Participants will meet at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area and then caravan as a group 5 miles offsite. The workshop is free but pre-Registration is required. Space is limited to 25 Adults. Participants should dress for cold weather conditions and deep snow.

To register for the program or for more information, please contact: Kristi Pupak, Wildlife Conservation Educator at 715-463-2739 or via email: For complete details and updated information, visit (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on Poynette Maple Fest contact Ruth Ann Lee, 608-635-8112 or Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, 608-635-8112; on the Crex maple syrup workshop Kristi Pupak, 715-463-2739

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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