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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Feb. 25, 2003

Volunteers needed for syruping

DEARBORN---The Environmental Interpretive Center will provide an introduction to the process of making maple syrup in free, public programs beginning at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 1.

"We'll give the trees the attention they deserve as we walk in the Natural Areas to explore the process of turning sap into syrup," according to Rick Simek, supervisor of the natural areas. "We'll also focus on how to identify the proper trees for tapping, see tapped trees with sap-collecting bags and watch some sap being prepared into syrup in our 'outdoor kitchen'," Simek said.

Simek is also looking for adult volunteers who can help gather sap and monitor the evaporator during the next several weeks. "We need to collect sap every day that it flows during the syruping season, which will last through the middle of March," he said.

Individuals or groups can meet at the EIC at 4 p.m. every day to help collect the sap in buckets and bring it back to the evaporator. "Hauling sap is physical work so children must be at least six years old," Simek said.

He is also looking for adult volunteers who can tend the evaporator for six-hour shifts during the syruping season. "This is an enjoyable, social and fascinating part of the maple syruping that takes a degree of patience," he said. Instructions will be provided for beginners.

To volunteer, register for the March 1 tours or gather more information, call Simek at (313) 583-6371.

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