Sugar Maple Celebration


Come celebrate the Sugar Maple and the magic it brings to your table.  Tap a tree and enjoy the maple sugaring process with Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania. 

Participate in activities and nature hikes focused on wildlife, tree identification, best forestry practices, and climate change as it relates to the Sugar Maple and our native forests. Share the taste of New Jersey maple syrup, visit a live sawmill demonstration, and don’t miss your chance to try the maple syrup specialty items that will be served all day in our café!

This is an  indoor/outdoor event—so please dress for the weather.


Schedule of Events:


Times Event Location
10:00am & 12:00pm

Maple Sugaring Demo

Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania will take you from sap to syrup during this interactive 45 minute program. Michael first got interested and began partaking in the process himself 13 years ago in the backyard of his Mendham property. In the past few years, he has tapped three sugar maple groves at Duke Farms, which contain a total of about 100 sugar maple trees.


Farm Barn Classroom

10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm & 1:00pm

Sawmill Demonstration

Have you ever seen a log turn to planks of wood in front of your eyes? Join staff from the Forest Resource Education Center as they teach you all about the importance of sustain-able forestry, forest products, and how lumber is cut on a portable sawmill. Don’t miss the opportunity to use all of your senses to explore the world of forestry!


East side of Orientation Center

10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm & 1:30pm

Hands-on Tapping

Have you ever tapped a tree? Here’s your chance to use the tools that have been used for generations of maple syrup production! Duke Farms Stewardship staff will take you on a brief walk to discover several types of Maples on our property. You will learn the differences between the native and non-native species, the tools and techniques used in tapping a maple for harvesting sap, and an explanation of what happens to the trees when the syruping season is over!


Walk Tent

Signs of Spring

Walk through multiple habitats including a Meadow, Sugar Bush and learn a bit of Winter Tree ID with Duke Farms Manager of Programs Tanya Sulikowski! She will be leading you on a guided walk to find signs of spring, wild edibles & our first flowers in NJ. Don’t forget to bundle up for this adventure!


Walk Tent

Climate Change

Sugar Maples are at the very southern reach here in New Jersey, and this presentation will be an exciting look into the future of these trees. Join Bruce Taterka, environmentalscience teacher, as he discusses current issues about climate change and the phenology of Sugar Maples (Acer Saccharum).


Farm Barn Classroom

Winter Tree ID Hike (Saturday) - Wildlife of the Sugar Bush (Sunday)

Have you ever walked through the woods and wondered to yourself about the sights and sounds around you? Join Duke Farms Deputy Director Jon Wagar & Director of Natural ResourcesThom Almendinger on a guided walk through the woods! Jon will be discussing Winter Tree Identification in one of our wooded areas,while Thom will take you through the Sugar Bush to talk about the wildlife that can be found in the forest (and in the Maple sap buckets!)


Walk Tent
Every 30 minutes

Sally & Charlie's Maple Syrup

Meet Sally & Charlie—Duke Farms’ favorite squirrel and chipmunk as they discover how maple syrup is made!

South of Orientation Center




Saturday, March 4

Sunday, March 5

Cost: FREE! Appropriate for all ages. We ask that you please register in advance to help us prepare for the festival.

Eventbrite - Sugar Maple Celebration

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