March 7, 2011
At Saint John's Arboretum, maple syrup season is a celebration that gives true meaning to the phrase "Home, sweet home." It's a season to celebrate community, history, culture and place. If you're looking for a family event to give you a sweet taste of home, join the Saint John's Arboretum for the annual Maple Syrup Festivals from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, March 26, and Saturday, April 2, at Saint John's Abbey and University. Registration will be near Saint John's Prep School.
The festivals include tours and sap collection, tapping demonstrations, historical talks, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. Punctuate the afternoon with free hot maple syrup sundaes. From kids to grandparents, this is an event for the whole family. It's an open house, so come when you can and stay as long as you like.
Bring your Boy and Girl Scout troops to the festivals for Maple Syrup Scout Days. The Scouts can participate in a variety of maple syruping activities and will receive a Saint John's Maple Syrup patch for their hard work! Scouts are required to preregister for the festival they are attending in order to receive the maple syrup patches. Did your scouts participate last year? Come again to earn the new 2011 patch.
Saint John's Arboretum members can attend the festivals for $5 per adult and free for children. Cost for scouts and Arboretum non-members is $10 per adult and $5 per child (ages 4-17); kids age 3 and under are free. Arboretum memberships are available online and will be available at the festivals. Preregister for the festival by the Friday before and receive $1 off per person, up to $10 per family (NOTE: Scout troops are not eligible for the preregistration discount). Call 320-363-3163 or visit the Arboretum website for more information and to register (www.csbsju.edu/arboretum).
Maple syruping has been an annual rite of spring at Saint John's since the 1940s when sugar shortages prompted the monastery to learn the maple syrup production process. For nearly 70 years, members of the Saint John's community have carried on this tradition, and the Arboretum is thrilled to share it with everyone.
Saint John's Arboretum encompasses the lakes, prairie, oak savannah and woodland in the 2,740 acres surrounding Saint John's Abbey and University. The Arboretum strives to celebrate and preserve the unique beauty and richness of God's creation in central Minnesota and fosters the Benedictine tradition of land stewardship, education and environmental respect.