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LaGrange County Parks news

Maple sugar season is worth celebrating. Maple Syrup Days, the county’s sugar harvest festival, will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, at Maple Wood Nature Center. The South Milford Lions Club will serve pancakes from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Tours and activities will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visitors can see the various stages of a full working maple sugar camp. Horse wagons will carry visitors into the maple woods to see the tapping operation. Interpreters will introduce attendees to the trees and explain their life cycle.

There will be demonstration of three different ways to make maple syrup; how people used to do it, how it is done now, and how someone can do it at home. The sugar house will be boiling all day, making maple syrup before your eyes. Old fashioned and hobbyist syrup making will also be presented.

 “Syrup on Strings,” a maple themed marionette variety show, returns with performances at the top of the hour throughout the day. Other outdoor activities include Maple Memory, Maple Cornhole, and more.

Attendees should dress warmly to spend as much time as possible outside and enjoy all Maple Syrup Days has to offer.

Bucket brigade… 

Volunteers are valuable when it is sap gathering time. The parks department keeps a call list to alert volunteer sappers when the buckets are nearly full. Anyone who wants to be a part of the gathering team should contact Maple Wood Nature Center at 463-4022 for more details.

Folk Jam…

Folk Music Jam sessions are hosted the fourth Sunday of the month. Jam sessions are mostly folk, country and bluegrass music with other styles thrown in from time to time.

This month’s jam will be from 1:30-5 p.m. on March 23. For more information, contact Erv Troyer at 463-2247 or reo43@aol.com or Maple Wood at 463-4022 or lagrangecounty parks@yahoo.com.

Breakfast with the Birds…

Breakfast with the Birds is for anyone who is free a Wednesday morning of each month. The program starts with coffee and doughnuts, then a talk or discussion is offered by a naturalist. Bring binoculars and enjoy a hike in the woods afterward. A small donation for the program is recommended.

This month’s topic will be maple recipes. Use it on pancakes. Use it in ice cream. Use it anywhere a sweet compliment to a recipe is wanted. Maple syrup, the wonderful, locally-grown sweetener, is the feature in this annual taste of maple recipes.

Woodcock watch…

The courtship display of this small migrant does not last long, but is very predictable. The woodcock courting display is aerial finesse that defies the bird’s stumpy little shape. Bring binoculars if possible and dress for the weather.

Meet at the Field Pavilion in Delt Church Park on Wednesday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m.

The program will be held at Pine Knob Park in Howe on Thursday, April 3. Meet at the program center at 7:30 p.m.

Hunter safety class…

A pre-turkey season Hunter's Safety Class will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6, at Maple Wood Nature Center.

Anyone born after December 31, 1986 is required to take this class before obtaining a firearms hunting permit. It is also recommended for hunters of any age who have not gone through this or a similar course.

Class time is 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 6. Both sessions must be attended to earn certification. Participants must bring pencils and a lunch.

Hunter's Safety Class is offered at no charge. Expenses are paid for with each hunting license sold in Indiana. Registration is required due to space limitations.

Register at www.register-ed.com/events/view/42625 or call 854-2225.

Other questions regarding hunting seasons and hunter eligibility can be answered by Indiana Conservation officers at 260-244-3720.

All programs, unless otherwise noted, are held at Maple Wood Nature Center, 4.5 miles east and one mile south of LaGrange.

For more information about programs or LaGrange County Parks, call (260) 854-2225 or (260) 463-4022 or e-mail lagrangecountyparks@yahoo.com.