David Susko (right), director of the Environmental Interpretive Center, poured warm campus-made maple syrup onto the vanilla ice cream that Carol Allie was serving up to faculty, staff, students and other guests during the Center’s “Ice Cream Social” event on March 25. The ice cream also was locally-made and provided by Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor in Wyandotte.
Each year, thousands of schoolchildren and area residents participate in maple-syruping activities at the Center and its surrounding 300-plus acre Environmental Study Area. The “Maple Syrup Science” program is one of the more than a dozen ongoing free educational outreach programs on the environment that the EIC offers to the public of southeast Michigan.
For more than three decades, volunteers have been collecting sap from sugar maple trees in the natural areas each spring and turning it into maple syrup. This year’s weather of mild days, cold nights and lots of snow and rain has been ideal for high-grade maple syrup production. Susko estimated that volunteers were able to gather more than 800 gallons of tree sap and produce about 20 gallons of maple syrup this season.