Red Oak Nature Center Hosts Free Maple Fest on March 19

Red Oak Nature Center Hosts Free Maple Fest on March 19


Did you miss the memo on the Kane County Forest Preserve District’s Maple Sugaring Days last weekend at LeRoy Oakes?

If so, you’re in luck, because there’s another chance to get your sugary science and history lesson on March 19, when the annual Maple Fest takes place at Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora.

The event is free to the public, with tours running every hour beginning at 9 a.m. and the final tour taking place at 1 p.m.

Naturalists from Red Oak will lead visitors to various stations in the woods to view demonstrations of how maple sap is harvested and turned into delicious maple syrup. Each group will tap a maple tree, then witness the process of how sap is boiled and converted into syrup. Group taste-tests will follow.

“Early spring is the perfect time to collect maple sap because the days start getting warmer but the nights are still cold,” said Margaret Gazdacka, facility supervisor at Red Oak. “Visitors will witness this age-old practice of taking sap from a tree and turning it into syrup you use on your pancakes.”

Maple-themed treats and hot beverages will be available for a small fee (cash or check). Also, the event will feature items for sale from Vermont – the maple syrup-producing capital of the world – that include small bottles of maple syrup, candy and beef jerky. Dimple Donuts is providing maple doughnuts while supplies last.

Scout groups are encouraged to attend on Sunday, March 20, when Red Oak hosts its “Scout Syrup Sunday” event.

Red Oak Nature Center is located on Route 25 in North Aurora, one mile north of Route 56. For more information, contact Red Oak at 630-897-1808 or visit the District’s website at and Facebook page.

PHOTO CAPTION: Visitors at the free Maple Fest event next Saturday (March 19) at Red Oak Nature Center will tap a maple tree and get to enjoy a tasty sample of the sweet maple syrup created from the sap that’s collected.

SOURCE: Fox Valley Park District news release

About the Fox Valley Park District

The Fox Valley Park District is a dynamic and growing park district that serves a diverse population of more than 233,000 people. Recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Agency, Fox Valley holds the nation’s highest honor as a National Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in park and recreation management. Serving the communities of Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora, the district maintains 165 parks and 48 miles of inter-connected regional trails amid 2,500 acres of parkland. For more information, visit or the Fox Valley Park District Facebook page.