Maple Sugaring

I’m dying here. There’s too much snow on the ground, no joy in the forecast, all my fun stuff keeps getting canceled due to weather, and I’m waiting for a certain bit of news that just isn’t coming. Winter is taking its sweet time exiting this year, so in the meantime, I’m maple sugaring.

Per usual, I have Teatown to thank for this experience. The tap a number of sugar maples each year, and have a sweet little sugar house to process the sap into syrup. This year, for the older students, they’ve incorporated climate change into the program. Sugar maples thrive in a cold but temperate climate, and the warming environment could drive their range further north. Over the last 60 years or so, the majority of world maple syrup production has shifted from the US to Canada. The amount of sugar in sap here in New York has shrunk from 4% to 2% in that time, making it more resource-intensive and lengthy a transformation process.

I loved hearing the kids talk about climate change. As upsetting a topic as it can be–I just saw a headline somewhere about how it is driving people to therapy and I totally get that–hearing twelve-year-olds speak accurately and thoughtfully about it restores a bit of hope in the future. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about how to best share my love of the natural world and desire to make a difference with local kids. Some new ideas percolating there…

In the meantime, looking forward to amphibian migration, glass eel counts and seeing the ground again!

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