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March LaGrange County Parks report


Holiday closing...

Maple Wood Nature Center and all LaGrange County officers will be closed on March 29 for Good Friday.

Maple Syrup Days...

Spring is coming! Among the signs are chipmunks out of hibernation, woodpeckers drumming for territory, and sap buckets on sugar maple trees. Time to celebrate the maple sugar harvest with the LaGrange County Parks Department.

The LaGrange County Parks Department and South Milford Lions will host Maple Syrup Days on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17. Come to Maple Wood Nature Center to see a complete, working sugar camp. Horse wagon tours will go through the woods to visit the tapping and sap gathering. Inside the sugar house, the sap will be boiled into syrup while the public watches.

Guests can participate in the process by eating all the syrup-covered pancakes they can. The South Milford Lions will serve pancakes all day long for a cost per person.

There will also be other special things to watch. The old-fashioned kettle boilers demonstrate a sugar camp of around 100 years ago. The backyard- style home sugaring operation is for do-it-yourselfers with their own sugar maples to tap. “Syrup on Strings” is a new marionette show with string puppets performing maple-themed variety acts.

Pancakes will be served from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sugar House tours will be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wagon tours through the sugar bush will be from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. “Syrup on Strings” will be performed hourly from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Maple Wood Nature Center is located at 4550E 100S in LaGrange, or 4.5 miles east and 1 mile south of LaGrange. Watch for the signs on SR 3 or US 20.

For more information, contact Maple Wood Nature Center at 260-463-4022 or maplwood@ A map is available for download at www.lagrange

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.

The March jam will be on March 24 from 1:30-5 p.m. If you have any more questions contact Erv Troyer at 463-2247 or or Maple Wood Nature Center at 463-4022 or

Frog call census...

There will be a frog call census taken on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27, at Dallas Lake Park and Pine Knob Park.

The Dallas Lake Park census will be at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26. Meet in the office parking lot at 0505W 700S.

The Pine Knob Park census will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. Meet at the Program Center, 2825E SR 120.


Springtime is the most important time of year for most Hoosier frogs. It is when they have families. The competition to attract a mate is fierce since they are all trying to talk at the same time. It turns into a shouting match. Each species has its own shout, so it is easy to identify who is there. The LaGrange County Parks Department wants to inventory which frogs call Dallas Lake Park and Pine Knob Park home.

Dress warmly. Feel free to bring notebooks or recorders. If someone has sensitive hearing, they may want to bring ear protection.

Breakfast with the Birds...

Breakfast with the Birds is for anyone who is free one Wednesday morning of each month. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts, then a talk or discussion is offered by the naturalist. Bring binoculars and enjoy a hike in the woods afterward. A small donation is recommended.

The March 27 topic will be “Maple Recipes.”It is one of the parks department’s favorite traditions – cooking with maple. Since maple sugar is our only wild harvested sweetener, it is great fun to feature it as the gourmet flavor it really is. Desserts, main dishes, and even salads can all be dressed up with maple sugar.

Woodcock watch...

There are two woodcock watches scheduled this spring.

The first one is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, in Delt Church Park, 6455S 200W. Meet at the Field Pavilion.

The second is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in Pine Knob Park, 2825E SR 120. Meet at the program center.

The courtship display of the woodcock does not last long, but is very predictable. The woodcock courting display is aerial finesse that defies his stumpy, little shape. Bring binoculars if you have them and dress for the weather.

Hunter Safety Class...

A Hunter's Safety Class is scheduled for April 6 and 9 at Maple Wood Nature Center. Anyone born after Dec. 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 6, and 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9.

Participants must bring pencils and a lunch. There is no charge for Hunter's Safety Class, expenses are paid with each hunting license sold in Indiana. Registration is required due to space limitations. 

Register online at http://www. 19. If you do not have internet access, call 260-854-2225 to register.

Other questions regarding hunting seasons and hunter eligibility can be answered by the 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 the LaGrange County Parks, call 260-854-2225 or 260-463-4022 or e-mail