Syrup on tap
By STU MERRY
Winter still has its grip on the North Dakota prairie, but that doesn’t mean things are at a standstill at Fort Stevenson State Park south of Garrison.
Plans are nearly finalized for what’s shaping up to be an educational hands-on event at the state park – maple syrup making.
Chad Trautman, manager at the state park, had Garrison Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee members licking their lips as he told what he’s planning.
Even with cold temperatures and no sign of spring, plans are for state park staff to tap 15 box elder trees next week.
Last year, three trees were tapped, producing approximately 30 gallons of sap. That raw product was processed into three quarts of syrup.
March 20 and April 10, school groups will visit the park to see the tapping. April 11, at 10 a.m., park staff will host a maple syrup event for the public sharing the history of tapping trees and syrup making, what equipment is used and how it’s used.
"We will also show you some taps and how they work," Trautman said.
Those attending will get to try out freshly made syrup with pancakes. How is box elder syrup different from maple syrup? Describing the difference, Trautman said; "It differs from sugar maple syrup as it has a honey with a touch of butter taste.