The Environmental Council recently tapped the "sugarbush" behind Case Hall for sap for making maple syrup.
There is a large cluster or stand of mature sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) behind the boys dormitory. "The sugar maple is the state tree of New York," says Director of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Leigh Schmitt, who also leads the Environmental Council.
The group organized themselves right before the start of Spring Break by prepping the trees for tapping. "The process of collecting the sap took about four weeks," says Mr. Schmitt.
After the sap was collected, students collaborated with dining hall staff to boil it down into syrup and enjoyed the "sweet" rewards of their efforts.
"This is just one of many activities that we coordinate on campus to help students deepen their connection to place," says Mr. Schmitt. "Not only do they learn about the process, but they learn about our region, our campus, and their natural resources."
The group is already planning for next year, with intentions to expand the project to include more trees. "It's fun and it aligns with our mission and core value of environmental stewardship in every way," says Mr. Schmitt.