BEAVERCREEK TOWNSHIP — Tap. Tap. Tap.
If one stands silently in the Sugar Grove at the Narrows Reserve and listens intently on a quiet day in the next month or so, one just might be able to hear a steady chorus of drops. That refrain, which requires a specific set of weather conditions, would be the sound of something tasty … eventually: maple sap.
Throughout the day Friday, Greene County Parks & Trails staff tapped maple trees with spouts and hung buckets to collect the sap, which will eventually be turned into syrup to be served on stacks of warm pancakes at the park agency’s annual breakfast in Bellbrook.
GCP&T staff naturalist Mel Grosvenor said it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup, which is done by boiling away excess water from the sap.
“What you get is about 65 percent sugar,” she said. “That becomes the syrup.”
But the camp doesn’t just exist to produce the sticky-sweet breakfast topping. It also runs with an educational component.
Soon local students from all age groups – from preschoolers to high school seniors – will be bustling through the wooded areas about the Narrows Reserve learning about the process of turning sap into syrup. They’ll learn about the process as it applies to several different topics – history, economics and biology, according to Grosvenor.
“A lot of kids don’t necessarily realize where their food comes from,” she said. “This is actually a really neat thing because here in Ohio and in New England and some of the northern parts of North America, that’s the only area in the world where this is being made. Our state’s one of the producers and that’s really special.”