It’s that time of year again when the days get longer and the sun rises higher in the sky. The temperatures are above freezing during the day and drop below freezing at night. When this temperature fluctuation occurs, the sap in the Sugar Maple trees rises from the roots to nourish the buds at the end of the branches above. Sugarmakers tap into this sweet liquid and take just a little bit out each year to make sweet syrup and other maple products. That’s why it’s called sugaring season.
At Brooksvale Park we began to seriously develop a Maple Sugaring program in 2002. Earlier attempts by Ranger Vinny and his buddy Dave DeMartino of the town’s recreation department included boiling sap over a wood fire set between cinder blocks, sort of. It’s a learning process and as we learned more we were all addicted! An Eagle Scout converted a corn crib into a Sugar Shack and grants and donations made the purchase of our first evaporator a reality. The first public program was held in 2002, students began coming on field trips and the rest they say, is sweet history!
Sugarmakers have included Ranger Vinny, Ranger Tom Parlapiano, Clay Ruck, Kirsten Walker and presently Pete Laffin. Volunteer apprentices are always welcome and though they can’t be paid, the reward is sweet!