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Minnesota state parks’ free maple syruping programs are a sweet deal

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MINNESOTA - March 1, 2011 - The annual springtime tradition of maple syruping is about to begin with MDNRseveral Minnesota state parks hosting workshops in March and April.

Some events are demonstrations only; while others provide hands-on opportunities to participate in each step of the process, from drilling holes in the trees to boiling the sap to reduce water content. It usually takes 30-40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of pure maple syrup.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), maple sap runs best when daytime temperatures are in the high 30s to mid 40s and overnight temperatures are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days. Some sap may flow as early as January or as late as May, but the typical time for a “good” sap run in Minnesota is from about March 15 to April 20.

The maple syrup programs are free, but a vehicle permit ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit) is required to enter the parks. Registration is required for some programs.

For more information, call 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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