525 taps, 7,330 gal­lons

The Glengarry News - - Classified­s -

“We did re­mark­ably well for our first sea­son at the Oschmann Forest,” said John Mes­man, South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion’s Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Lead. “Af­ter a one-year break in 2018, we hosted 500 stu­dents from nine lo­cal schools this year.”

He is re­fer­ring to the new Maple Syrup Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram re­launched for its 18th sea­son in March, now at the Oschmann Forest in Or­mond, North Dun­das.

A to­tal of 525 taps col­lected 7,330 gal­lons of sap which were sold to a lo­cal syrup op­er­a­tor this spring.

As for boil­ing into syrup on­site, that could come even­tu­ally de­pend­ing on fund­ing, Mr. Mes­man said, but never on more than a demon­stra­tion scale.

With summer in view, SNC has re-opened its parks, trails, docks and boat launches for the sea­son, in­clud­ing the Oschmann Forest.

Do­nated to SNC in 2017 by the Oschmann Fam­ily in memory of Gertrude Oschmann, the 18-acre forest boasts a di­verse wood­lot that was ac­tively man­aged for maple syrup pro­duc­tion for 50 years un­til the early 2000s. The bilin­gual not-for-profit pro­gram sup­ple­ments the On­tario cur­ricu­lum and has pre­vi­ously hosted up­wards of 1,000 stu­dents a year at lo­cal sugar shacks.

The forest is well lo­cated in a tri­an­gle formed by Ch­ester­ville, Rus­sell and Winch­ester and fairly cen­tral to SNC’s 4,384-square-kilo­me­tre ju­ris­dic­tion.

Ac­ces­si­ble free of charge, the forest will of­fer res­i­dents close-to-home recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties in a nat­u­ral area, com­plete with a groomed 1.2 km walk­ing trail and in­ter­pre­tive sig­nage.

Garbage and re­cy­cling bins will not be lo­cated on site in 2019; the Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity will be in­stalling trail coun­ters to mon­i­tor vis­i­tor us­age to in­form fu­ture trail man­age­ment. SNC will continue to raise funds to sup­port fu­ture wash­room fa­cil­i­ties or rentals.

“We are thrilled to of­fer ed­u­ca­tional and recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties in our com­mu­nity forests,” said Mr. Mes­man. “We en­cour­age fam­i­lies to step into na­ture this summer and ex­plore lo­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas and in­ter­pre­tive walk­ing trails.”

Visit www.na­tion.on.ca/recre­ation for more in­for­ma­tion.

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