Glenville, WV – A group effort involving students from the Department of Land Resources at Glenville State College, the W.Va. Division of Forestry, and the Glenville Fire Department resulted in a delicious and educational outcome.
Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Science, Dr. Allyson Degrassi, and GSC alumni and WV DOF Service Forester, Jesse King, led the Forest Recreation and Wildlife Management class in a project to produce maple syrup from start to finish.
The students tapped sugar and red maple trees on the College Farm and collected sap for two weeks. They collected close to 75 gallons when they were finished.
The Glenville Fire Department generously allowed the students to use their kitchen to boil the sap into syrup.
It takes nearly 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, and the students walked away with over a gallon and a half of Grade A Dark syrup. The students and faculty came together to sample their syrup over homemade buckwheat waffles and buttermilk pancakes after weeks of hard work.
“This was a great collaborative effort between the Land Resources Department, WV Division of Forestry, and our local Fire Department. Together, we involved students with a demanding hands-on learning experience that produced one of West Virginia’s delicious renewable resources. I think we all walked away with more than a tasty breakfast,” said Degrassi.
Throughout the process, students learned the science of sap production, techniques of tapping, the method and science behind turning sap into syrup, silviculture, and forest management for the production of this resource in West Virginia.
The Department of Land Resources hopes to work with Division of Forestry to increase maple syrup production in the state and are working on ways to bring sugaring to the local community.
Their goal is to build a sugar shack on the Glenville State College property so that community members can bring their own collected sap to make maple syrup.