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Warren's Sugar House Turns 40

The sugaring season is almost over at Teatown, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
The sugaring season is almost over at Teatown, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Photo Credit: Teatown Nature Center

OSSINING, N.Y. — The 2016 maple sugaring season is in full swing at Teatown and the sap has been running strong as Warren's Sugar House celebrates its 40th birthday.

Teatown has spent the last few weeks tapping trees and boiling sap, following the ancient native American tradition of making maple syrup. Sugaring season has been taking place at Teatown since Warren’s Sugar House was built in 1976 .

The Sugar House is named after Warren Balgooyen, Teatown’s first executive director. Warren served as the leader for Teatown from 1972 to 1983 and left his legacy, helping to establish Teatown as an environmental education organization.

During February, Teatown education staff tapped 65 maple trees, hung buckets and waited for the sap to run. Sap was collected every few days and stored in an outdoor holding tank. Warren’s Sugar House contains the evaporator in which the sap is boiled down until it reached 210 degrees and forms maple syrup.

Phyllis Bock, Teatown’s director of education, leads her “merry maids” and the community at large during this sweet season. With three Sugaring Sundays open to the public, the last of which will be held this Sunday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

“The sugaring season is my favorite time of the year at Teatown as we say goodbye to winter and welcome in spring. Making maple syrup connects you directly to the rhythm and flow of the seasons; the maples produce their sweet sap, the red-winged blackbirds return and the peepers begin their evening chorus,” Bock said.

The sugaring season culminates at Teatown with its ever popular Pancake Brunch on Saturday, March 19 which is already sold out, but there is still space for the final Sugaring Sunday of the season this weekend.

Teatown will enter its syrup in Sharpe Reservation’s Best of the Hudson Valley this season. They have won “best syrup” in prior competitions.

Teatown’s bottled syrup is for sale in limited supply by visiting Teatown’s Nature Center, located at 1600 Spring Valley Road. Stop by any day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but don’t wait too long as it goes quickly.

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