Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Local Maple Syrup at the Prairie

The sugar shack is a great place to warm up this time of year at Shawnee Prairie.
After countless hours of collecting sap and boiling it down in the Sugar Shack, the Friends of Darke County Parks’ gift shop will have a limited supply of pure maple syrup ready for you to take home by the March 2nd festival. Believe it or not, maple syrup is a very healthy food. Maple sugar is 3 times as sweet as cane sugar, and it has fewer calories and a lower glycemic index. A tablespoon of maple syrup has around 40 calories where a tablespoon of cane sugar has around 55. As an added benefit, pure maple syrup is also an excellent source of the minerals manganese and zinc which are important immune system allies. Many of the commercial syrups available in the grocery store do not contain ANY maple syrup; their main ingredient is corn syrup with added maple flavoring.

All maple syrup available in the Nature Center’s Gift Shop was made from sap collected from trees here in Darke County and cooked by the staff and many volunteers of the park district in the Sugar Shack. Prices range from $8 to $10, so come out to the Nature Center gift shop on March 4th to purchase your pure maple syrup. Support the Darke County Park District and its mission of education, conservation, and preservation.

At the Maple Sugarin’ at the Prairie Festival on March 2nd, The Friends of the Parks will once again be serving up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee, and of course pure Ohio maple syrup! Breakfast will be Saturday, March 2nd, from 8:00am-12:00pm. Tickets are available at the door on the day of the breakfast for only $6 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3-12, or presale is available at the Nature Center from 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday. Educational tours will also be held throughout the morning.

For more information call the nature center at 937-548-0165 or email

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