Hartman Reserve Nature Center hosts Maple Syrup Festival - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hartman Reserve Nature Center hosts Maple Syrup Festival this weekend

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The hall inside the Interpretive Center at Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls is all set-up and ready to serve pancakes and maple syrup to around two thousand people this weekend.

The 29th Annual Maple Syrup Festival is a celebration of the nature center's maple trees.

"Every year we tap the trees, collect the sap, and evaporate it down to maple syrup," said Development Coordinator Connie Svoboda.

Very often this time of year, the sap is already flowing and people attending the festival can help collect it. Not this year. The collection buckets are empty.

But don't worry, the nature center still has syrup for this year's festival.

"We do because we actually collected the sap last year and evaporated it into the syrup we use for this year's event. So when the weather finally cooperates and sap is flowing we'll collect it and make it for our event next year," said Svoboda.

Hartman Reserve's Development Coordinator Connie Svoboda said there's a small window for collecting sap. The temperatures have to be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night.

"To make the sap go up the tree and down the tree, and each time it goes up and down we collect it," said Svoboda.

Usually people at the festival enjoy nature while waiting to eat pancakes. This year, though, people can wait inside the Buckles Program Center to stay warm and out of the snow.

The festival goes from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 1st and 2nd. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages three to 12. You're asked to park at Cedar Heights Elementary and a shuttle will take you to the nature center.

All proceeds from the Maple Syrup Festival benefit natural resource management and educational programs at Hartman Reserve.

Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids is also hosting its Maple Syrup Festival this weekend.

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