A taste of spring at Cincinnati Nature Center

Have you ever wondered how thick, sticky, slow-moving tree sap becomes the sublime sweetness known as pure maple syrup? If so, the Cincinnati Nature Center features an upcoming program on tree sugaring that is sure to delight the intellect as much as it does the taste buds.
In February and March, the Cincinnati Nature Center presents real, honest-to-goodness maple syrup making. Presented in the center’s Sugar House, visitors can expect an education in producing “liquid gold” maple syrup from sap. The program promises an engaging sensory experience. The excursion features a one-hour maple trail hike where visitors can collect sap, and a trip to the Sugar House to feel the warmth and sense the smell of the maple scented steam that comes from the evaporator during processing.
“Collecting sap is a holistic activity and a great way for people to understand the role of humans in the food chain,” says Jason Neumann, experiential education specialist. During the maple trail hike, Neumann says, “We often encounter birds called sap suckers, and other plants and animals that are all part of the food chain, part of the process.”
The Cincinnati Nature Center is a non-profit nature education organization dedicated to designing and delivering family-friendly encounters with nature. Emphasizing hands on experiences, the center is open year-round and offers activities that both children and adults can share in a family friendly environment. Between its two locations in Milford and Goshen, visitors can take in over 1600 acres of natural beauty and more than 16 miles of hiking trails. This summer, the center offers popular camps for children that become open to non-members beginning March 1.
Throughout the remaining winter months and into the spring, the center offers opportunities to learn from naturalists during interactions with wildlife like The Dance of the Woodcock, the Salamander Celebration and of course maple syrup making.
“Focusing on the living creatures and natural surroundings along the way means that each time we do a hike we see and experience something unique,” says Neumann.
Do Good:

- Visit the center for Maple Syrup Making February 18 & 25, and March 3 & 10.
- Become a member of Cincinnati Nature Center.
- Volunteer as a land steward or facilitate school groups.
- Donate to help ensure continuity of nature programs.
By Deidra Wiley Necco
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