Local youngsters to tap sugar bush, enjoy sticky-sweet syrup at Merry Lea

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Local youngsters to tap sugar bush, enjoy sticky-sweet syrup at Merry Lea

WOLF LAKE, Ind. – Some 1,100 elementary students from 21 area schools and homeschool groups along with their parents and teachers will find environmental learning to be sugary-sweet at Sugar Bush 2006, sponsored by the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College.

This all-day, hands-on environmental science experience to demonstrate maple syrup-making takes place at the Yoder Sugarbush near Huntertown, Ind. During their visit, students participate in demonstrations that provide information about the history of syrup making, tree tapping, methods for collecting sap, woodcraft, the effects of weather on sap flow and the process of boiling the sap into finished syrup. Most of the teaching stations feature interactive experiences in small groups. The program ends with a mouth-watering lunch of pancakes and sausage smothered in fresh maple syrup.

Each year about 20 adult volunteers, mainly from the Fort Wayne area, assist with teaching, operating the sugar bush and instructional support. Accompanying parents help to prepare the noon meal.

The 350-tap sugar bush, located on the property owned by the Yoder family for four generations, produces about 80 gallons of syrup annually.

Complete information about the program is available at www.goshen.edu/merrylea/sugar/MAPLE.HTM . For more information, contact Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center at (260) 799-5869.

Merry Lea, 300 S. 500 W. in Noble County south of Wolf Lake, is a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana’s plants and animals, provides environmental education for people of all ages and a setting to recreate opportunities that benefit the human body and spirit without exploiting the land. Merry Lea, created with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy and the generosity of Lee A. and Mary Jane Rieth, is owned and operated by Goshen College. For more information, log on to www.goshen.edu/merryleaor call (260) 799-5869.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.