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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Feb. 3, 2006

Volunteers are needed to help with maple sugaring activities in the Natural Areas at UM-Dearborn

DEARBORN---It's almost maple syrup season for the Natural Areas at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and volunteers are needed to assist with several maple sugaring activities.

A group of schoolchildren watch as EIC program coordinator Dorothy McLeer demonstrates the proper way to use an auger to bore into a sugar maple without harming the tree.

The Environmental Interpretive Center will hold a tree tapping event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.

Participants will learn to identify the proper trees for tapping and then have the opportunity to use old-fashioned hand crank bits and braces to put holes in sugar maple trees.

Individuals and organized groups are welcome to attend the event. Group size is limited to 10 people. Volunteers also should expect to spend at least an hour in the woods with a moderate amount of walking in icy or muddy conditions and should dress accordingly.

After tapping trees, participants can warm up with hot chocolate inside the interpretive center.

Volunteers also are needed to collect sap on various days between Feb. 20 and March 16, including weekends. Participants meet at 4 p.m. at the EIC and are in the field collecting sap for about two hours. Individuals and organized groups are welcome to participate. Participants must be at least 6 years old. To register, contact Rick Simek, program supervisor for the Environmental Interpretive Center, at (313) 583-6371.

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