MDC offers visitors sweet treats of trees at Maple Sugar Festival

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WILDWOOD, MO (KTVI) - The Maple Sugar Festival at the Missouri Department of Conservation`s Rockwoods Reservation offers visitors the chance to discover nature at its most delicious.

The 2015 Maple Sugar Festival takes place Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is open to the whole family at no cost.

For about six weeks, from mid-January to the end of February, nature cooks up its own sweet delights within sugar maple trees as the sap begins to flow, ready to be tapped for making sugar and syrup.

The Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival is an excellent opportunity for families to break free of cabin fever and learn skills to collect, boil and create their own maple syrup or sugar while they still have several weeks of the season to try it out.

In Missouri, February is prime maple sugaring season because it produces the right weather conditions. February has the perfect combination of below freezing temperatures at night and above freezing temperatures during the day that causes the sap to flow. The greater the night-to-day temperature difference, the more the sap flows. But come March, leaves and seeds open on the trees and the sap changes, calling an end to the sugar production season.

Conservation means sustainable use of natural resources. Maple sugaring is a prime example of this smart use because trees are not harmed, and only a small amount of sap is taken so they can be tapped year after year.

MDC`s Rockwoods Reservation is located in Wildwood at 2751 Glencoe Road, off Highway 109 between I-44 and Highway 100. For additional information on the Maple Sugar Festival, call 636-458-2236.

To learn more about backyard maple sugaring, including step-by-step instructions, go online to the  Missouri Department of Conservation's website.

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