We never forget how lucky we are to have the North Park Village Nature Center in the northwest corner of our neighborhood. The site of a former influenza sanitarium, this area is now home to senior housing, a gymnastics complex, recycling facility, duck pond and deer-laden nature preserve.
The Nature Center regularly hosts family friendly fetes such as solstice festivals, Halloween carnivals and more. This past weekend’s maple syrup festival is just such an event. About a month or so before the festival, Nature Center staff host school groups who help tap the park’s maple trees. The slow-seeping sap is collected over the next weeks and boiled down over a fire at the festival. In addition to a free syrup tasting (delicious, by the way; smoky and less sugary that reg. maple syrup), the maple syrup festival also features educational crafts such as buckthorn necklace-making.
A big highlight of this (and other) North Park events was a performance by local bluegrass musicians, The Giving Tree Band. These gentleman are truly excellent performers, who engage both children and adults in the audience with their superior talent and charming demeanor. They’re performing at Martyr’s this week, if you’re interested.
If you missed the syrup festival this past weekend, you’re out of luck until next year. But take a look at North Park Village’s list of upcoming events. Plus, you can early-vote there in the District 5 House elections.