Maxville syrup maker helps re­vive ed­u­ca­tional cen­tre

The Glengarry News - - News -

Sub­mit­ted by Agro­forestry Ed­u­ca­tional Cen­tre, Kemptville come, for all the gen­er­a­tions ahead of us.”

Nine-hun­dred and fifty vac­uum taps are in­stalled in the Kemptville bush this sea­son. “The sap is pour­ing in,” ob­serves Mr. Heerkens, es­ti­mat­ing that 75 per cent of the av­er­age crop had flowed into Eastern On­tario sugar shacks by last week, with po­ten­tially much more of the sea­son yet to go.

While sap flows have been high, sugar con­tent is down some­what this sea­son, due to the wet and cloudy sum­mer of 2017, which may work out to an av­er­age syrup pro­duc­tion year over­all if trends con­tinue.

“It all de­pends on the weather,” says Mr. Wensink, who mar­vels at the re­al­ity of be­ing back in charge of the boiler at the cen­tre. “When I left here, I didn’t think I’d be back,” ac­knowl­edges the St. Lawrence Parks Com­mis­sion em­ployee. “It’s like rid­ing a bike,” he adds of his re­turn, also con­ced­ing that “mak­ing maple syrup is a bit of an ad­dic­tion.”

The cen­tre was once a pop­u­lar pan­cake spot dur­ing the an­nual Kemptville Col­lege Royal. In ad­di­tion to be­ing a re­search sta­tion and part­ner in the Eastern On­tario Model For­est pro­gram, Mr. Wensink also re­calls the place host­ing lo­cal ele­men­tary schools — the bush fea­tures a num­ber of in­for­ma­tive plaques aimed at pri­mary stu­dents— as well as a reg­u­larly sched­uled adult daycare pro­gram.

Young and old alike also vis­ited the place to see a replica of the wells de­ployed in 16 de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by Ryan’s Well Foun­da­tion, founded by Kemptville na­tive and lo­cal hero Ryan Hrel­jac as a school­boy. Mr. Heerkens has per­son­ally cleaned up that area, lo­cated be­hind the cen­tre. The op­er­a­tors await the pub­lic, about one kilo­me­tre west of County Rd. 44, at 2627 Be­dell Rd.

New life for Kemptville Col­lege

The On­tario gov­ern­ment and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of North Grenville are part­ner­ing to trans­form the for­mer Kemptville cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Guelph into an ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity hub. The agree­ment will al­low for the trans­for­ma­tion of the ma­jor­ity of the Kemptville cam­pus, where the Univer­sity of Guelph pre­vi­ously de­liv­ered agri­cul­tural pro­gram­ming, into an ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity hub that fo­cuses on ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, health and well­ness and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment em­pha­siz­ing cli­mate change re­siliency and low car­bon in­no­va­tion.

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