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Maple Season Returns to Conservation Halton's Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas

Conservation Halton is gearing up to celebrate the arrival of Maple Season with the reopening of Maple Season programs at Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas.

Commencing on Saturday, March 2, 2024, visitors can immerse themselves in the maple magic at Mountsberg's Maple Town, featuring a 150-year-old sugarbush where they can witness the transformation of maple sap into syrup. Alternatively, guests can explore Crawford Lake to delve into the Indigenous origins of maple sugaring. These programs will be available on weekends and holidays and during March break until Sunday, April 7, 2024.

At Mountsberg's Maple Town, families can partake in beloved traditions such as observing the maple sap-to-syrup process in the evaporator, cozying up by the fireside lounge, and engaging their children in the new Sugar Ranger Challenge. Indulge in maple sugar and syrup samples, relish maple syrup drizzled pancakes at the Pancake Pavilion, and take home various maple products from the Country Store.

Enhance the experience at Mountsberg with a horse-drawn wagon ride or workshops like beeswax candle making and maple sugar making. Visitors to Maple Town will also learn about the evolution of sugar-making techniques, from indigenous practices to modern methods, and gain insights into Conservation Halton's tree conservation efforts. The animal barn and Raptor Centre trail will be open for exploration, with the option to learn more about Mountsberg's resident birds of prey through the Talons and Tailfeathers experience.

Meanwhile, at Crawford Lake's Sweet Water Season, the focus shifts to the Indigenous heritage of maple sugaring, highlighted by the First Harvest: Celebrating Sweet Water exhibit. Step back in time within a reconstructed 15th-century Longhouse Village to witness maple sugaring as the inaugural harvest of the year. Throughout the day, the fireside will conduct Sweet Water demonstrations, offering guests a journey through the history of maple sugar making in Ontario. Guided syrup tastings will allow visitors to savour maple and birch syrups' diverse colours and flavours.

Brenna Bartley, Education and Outreach Manager at Conservation Halton expressed anticipation for the upcoming Maple Season programs, citing their hands-on nature and ongoing innovation as key factors in their community popularity. Bartley highlighted the opportunity for visitors to actively engage in syrup making and sampling, from raw sap to finished syrup, using traditional methods. Additionally, this year introduces Maple Town's new candle-making workshop and the Sugar Ranger Challenge, allowing youngsters to complete six challenges and earn official Sugar Ranger status.

Shazia Nazir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter