Contact(s): Ruth Ann Lee, DNR educator, 608-635-8112; Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, DNR educator, 608-635-8112
January 19, 2016
MADISON - Volunteers are needed to help students from around south central Wisconsin learn the process and history of making maple syrup in Wisconsin.
Each spring the Department of Natural Resources MacKenzie Center welcomes more than 1,200 students to participate in an annual Maple Education Program. The students and volunteers tap more than 100 trees in the center's sugar bush, or grove of maple trees, typically collecting around 1,000 gallons of sap and producing 35 to 40 gallons of pure maple syrup.
The education program begins in March and volunteers are needed in many areas. Volunteers will be trained to conduct student tours, boil sap, process maple syrup, and/or assist with other behind the scenes sugar bush duties. Volunteers are needed throughout the month of March.
Maple field trips occur twice a day, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in March. Volunteers can sign up for just a few days or for the entire month of the education program. Many education volunteers will participate in three or more days throughout the month.
"No previous experience is necessary, but we do caution that this experience is addicting," said Ruth Ann Lee, who co-leads the education program at the center. "This is a great chance to learn from experienced volunteers and try something new."
Training sessions are scheduled for February 23 and 25 from 9 a.m. until noon.
People interested in this opportunity should contact MacKenzie Center staff via email at DNRMacKenzieCenter@wisconsin.gov or call 608-635-8112 prior to Feb. 15. The MacKenzie Center is located two miles east of Poynette on County Road CS.