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SNC sugarbush tour a sweet success to offer more school groups and others in the greater Ottawa area a chance to learn the history and culture of Canada’s maple sugar industry. For several years now the SNC has offered tours during maple sugar season through a partnership arrangement with the Sand Road Maple Farm sugarbush operation. School groups from communities within the SNC watershed region as well as others


figure includes two full days of confirmed tour groups coming up from the Brockville area and a few from Ottawa, taking advan- tage of the SNC bus subsidy for school class transportation. The continued growing popularity of the

It’s a sweet springtime success story for the SouthNation Conservation Authority. The annual Maple Sugar Tour program is doing so well that staff at the regional conser- vation agency are looking at expanding it within the next couple of years. The goal is

“There has been interest in getting this program set up at another maple sugar faci- lity,” said NatalieMachado, one of themedia liaisons with the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC).

interested in maple sugaring have enjoyed the chance to view a working sugarbush and get a hands-on interpretive tour of the history of maple sugaring from the days of First Nations when heated rocks were dumped in hollowed-out logs to boil the sugar maple sap, to modern times and the use of high-tech evaporators.They also got a chance to see a sugar maple get tapped and also enjoy some fresh-made maple taffy, if snow conditions permitted. SNC media liaison John Mesman noted this year’s program had more than 1000 visitors confirmed for tours with still another week to go before early-April finish. That

maple sugar tour program has prompted SNC officials to start scouting for another working sugarbush operation willing to partner as part of the tour program.The focus is on finding one near the SNC’s boundary with the Rideau River watershed to provide a closer venue for Ottawa schools interested in giving their students a chance to experience sugarbush culture. “What it also boils down to,” said Mes- man, “is staff availability and volunteer availabity.” Anyone interested in helping the SNC maple sugar tour expand can email jmes-

A horde of students surround one of the interpreters during one of the stops along the tour of the Sand Road Maple Farm sugarbush. —photos SNC

Derek Diplômé Techniques de chauffage, de réfrigération et de climatisation

Sesquicentennial preparations The Upper Canada District School Board is laying the groundwork for marking Canada’s 150 th an- niversary next year. Trustees approved creating a sesquicentennial steering committee, to provide recommendations to the board on how to mark Canada’s 150 th anniversary as “a teachable moment” for students in Upper Canada district schools. Suggestions from the general public for the committee to consider should be emailed to the Upper Canada district through the UCDSB website contacts site. – Gregg Chamberlain Reminder about grants program The South Nation Conservation (SNC) Authority is looking for a few good groups or individuals to help out with grants for local projects and programs dealing with environmental protection and awareness. The regional conservation agency is also looking for volunteers to sit on any one of the four advisory committees dealing with communications, clean water, fish and wildlife, and forestry issues. The com- mittees meet four to six times a year and committee members receive a mileage allowance to help cover travel expenses. Committees review and make recommendations to the SNC board on staff project and program proposals dealing with concerns for the South Nation River watershed region. The SNC also reminds non-profit groups and municipalities to get applications in soon for the Community Environmental Grants program to help promote local events or activities dealing with the environment. Grant application forms and details are available at – Gregg Chamberlain





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