MDC offers free maple sugaring workshops in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Trees provide a sweetener in late winter, but only if a person knows how to turn tree sap into syrup, especially maple syrup. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer several free programs during February teaching methods for making syrup. MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City both have syrup making programs on tap.

When warm days follow cold days in late winter, trees begin drawing sap upward into the limbs. Tapping this sap for syrup is a traditional way of using a forest resource for food. MDC staff will demonstrate and discuss the equipment and techniques for making syrup. Syrup can be made from many tree species. But maple is a favorite because the sap contains more sugar and requires less sap to boil into syrup.

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will teach maple sugaring in two 90-minute sessions on Saturday, Feb. 20. Participants can choose between a session starting at 11 a.m. or one beginning at 1:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Registration is required.

Burr Oak Woods will also offer maple sugaring classes on Saturday, Feb. 27. Those 90-minute classes will also begin at 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.  All ages are welcome and registration is required.

MDC’s Gorman Discovery Center will host Urban Woodsman outdoor skill sessions on Saturday, Feb. 20, that will include syrup making. Taste tests may be offered for maple and other syrups such as walnut. One-hour demonstration sessions will begin at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Also on display will be fire building, wood splitting, and campfire cooking skills. These sessions are for ages 10 and older. Registration is required.

A virtual Sap to Syrup cooking program will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from the demonstration kitchen of the Gorman Discovery Center. Steve Jacobsen, assistant manager, will lead the session. Participants will get tips on techniques for boiling sap into syrup. This program is for ages 10 and older. Registration is required.

Discovery Center will also offer in-person Sap to Syrup cooking programs on Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27. MDC staff will be boiling tree sap into syrup and will discuss how participants can make syrup at home. These hour-long sessions will start at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on both days. This program is for ages 10 and older. Registration is required.

COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols will be followed by staff and visitors at these programs, including physical distancing and face masks. Most programs are being held outdoors. Participants should dress accordingly for winter weather. Registered participants will be notified if severe weather forces a cancellation or postponement.

To register for any of these programs, visit the MDC events page for the Kansas City region,

Information about Burr Oak Woods is available at, and learn about Discovery Center at