MDC Cape Nature Center hosts tree tapping and maple sugaring programs

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host a Tree Tapping program Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. This program covers only the tree tapping portion. The Maple Sugaring event will be Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Before you can enjoy sweet maple syrup, you’ve got to collect the sap. This program will describe how to identify Sugar maple trees and select the right ones to tap. Then, participants will go outside to try tapping the trees. MDC Naturalist Angela Pierce said it’s important guests dress for cold weather.

“This event will feature significant time outdoors while we learn how to tap the maple trees,” said Pierce. Pierce said maple sugaring has a long history in America, with earliest records of Indians using syrup for barter in the 1600s.

Though some think sugar maple trees are only found in Northeastern and North central regions of the country, the trees are also found in Missouri and have a rich history of use for maple sugaring.

Pierce said maple sugaring is a great way for people to discover nature in the cooler months. However, there are techniques that should be used to ensure the health of trees when they are tapped for sap.

“This event will teach the appropriate conservation practices for successful backyard sugaring,” said Pierce.

These maple sugaring programs are part of MDC’s mission to help people discover nature. All groups and ages are welcome and no registration is needed. For more information on this and other events at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, call 573-290-5218 or go online to