wild-center.JPGTupper Lake, NY - The sweet drip, drip, drip that heralds every spring is beginning in the North Country.  Sugar houses at The Wild Center and Paul Smith's College VIC are prepared to take that pure maple sap and turn it into the golden nectar that adorns pancakes and other edible delicacies.  31 families have already signed up for The Wild Center's Community Maple Project, with 300 taps, double the number of last year.  Boiling is underway.  Visitors are welcome to visit both sugar shacks. Those in Tupper Lake can join its community maple project, led by The Wild Center and one of the first of its kind in the state.  The Wild Center invites community members to tap maple trees in their yards and have it collected by a Wild Center representative on a daily basis during the sugaring season.  Once returned to The Wild Center, the sap will be boiled down into maple syrup. Interested communities members are encouraged to attend the workshop on March 16th to be involved in this project - space is limited! The free ‘Art of Maple Sugaring Breakfast and Workshop' will introduce the natural history of maple trees, provide access to the latest in maple information, including the tools you need to tap a tree, collect maple sap and ways to participate in the project.  Please pre-register to participate.  Registered participants will receive a pancake breakfast, expert-led workshop, and the tools to tap your own sugar maple for the 2013 season. Families are welcome.  Register at www.wildcenter.org/sweet.  You can follow this maple season on the Tupper Tapper blog - http://northernnewyorkmaple.com/tupper-tapper-blog/. On March 16th it's all maple all day at The Wild Center with maple stories, crafts, and tastings.  The Adirondack Museum will share some of the local stories of maple through historical object and pictures from the past.  You can also take a maple "tour" with naturalists at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm as they tell the story of maple sugaring through the stages of tapping, processing, and finally getting to the sweet part, maple sugar.  Take a closer look at an operational evaporator, catch some running sap and drill your own tap as we explore the local maple sugaring story.  Learn how you can sugar at home. The Paul Smith's College VIC also has a maple sugaring demonstration site and community maple project. As part of New York State's Maple weekend, on March 23rd, from 1pm to 4pm learn about the art of maple sugaring with special emphasis on backyard tapping, collection and boiling. Paul Smith's College students will be leading the workshops, providing tours of the sugar house and the maple demonstration site. Includes program and tastings for the whole family. During NYS Maple Weekend on March 16th - 17th and 23rd - 24th you can tour their new sugarbush, visit the sugar house, try maple confections and baked goods, learn about maple sugaring and sign up for their Community Maple Project. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. For events at the Paul Smith's College VIC, contact Brian McDonnell at 518.327.6241 or bmcdonnell@paulsmiths.edu There will be lots of other activities focused on maple during the NYS Maple Weekends on March 16th - 17th and March 23rd - 24th. For more information, please visit us online at www.northernnewyorkmaple.com. 

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Contact: Tracey A. Legat tlegat@wildcenter.org