Two gatherings welcome folks to learn more about processing maple syrup sap flowing at this time of the season and to enjoy the sweet bounty of the finished product.
Buffalo Audubon Society’s Beaver Meadow Center at 1610 Welch Road in North Java stages its popular Maple Harvest Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday.
Individuals and entire families can spend the day viewing the many presentations, syrup sampling and dining on pancakes smothered with those syrups.
Among sampling sessions offered in the center’s Sugar Shanty is trying a taste of Jack Wax, the maple syrup version of a snow cone. Visitors can watch processors make maple syrup the way Native Americans gathered sap and finished pure syrup.
Other outdoors activities include guided nature walks, workshops on tree identification, tips on backyard sugaring and other informative gatherings.
The pancake servings are homemade-style, all-you-can-eat portions as part of the admission. The adult fee is $8, ages 12 and younger is $6 and kids under age 3 are admitted free.
Audubon Center staffers will be on hand around the center to explain the various functions of the center’s 324 acres of wetlands, fields and forests where maple trees supply this syrupy bounty.
For more details on this festival, call (585) 457-3228 or visit buffaloaudubon.org.
Also, Earth Spirit offers a “Maple Sugaring: Past and Present” Program at Yates Park at Green Lake in Orchard Park from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Visitors will experience a series of both indoor and outdoor presentations on the techniques and tools Native Americans, early settlers and modern producers use to gather and process maple sugar during this time of the year.
After presentations, all are invited to a delicious pancake brunch, featuring servings of locally processed maple syrup. Pre-registration for this gathering is requested. Fees are $10 for adults and $5 for children and include the program and brunch.
For registration details, call the Orchard Park Recreation Department at 662-6450.