March is maple sugaring time in New England, and plans are underway for this year’s maple sugaring programs in the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) state and urban parks. The following locations accept and encourage reservations for organized educational and nonprofit groups beginning this month. No reservations are necessary for individuals or families who want to attend DCR’s maple sugaring events.  

·        Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton offers group tours of maple sugaring techniques from Brookwood Farm in the Blue Hills Reservation from mid-February through March. Learn the process of turning sap to sugar, see a real evaporator, and sample a traditional maple syrup snack. The $10-per-student fee charged by MassAudubon includes admittance to the Blue Hills Trailside Museum (open Wednesday-Sunday). Contact the Blue Hills Trailside Museum (617-333-0690) for further information and to make reservations.  

·        Breakheart Reservation in Saugus offers free programs for schools and nonprofit groups Monday-Friday, March 10-March 14. Tours include tree identification, tappings, history of maple sugaring, wood harvesting, sap boiling, and sampling of real maple syrup on pancakes and popcorn. Preregistration is required and can be arranged by phone (781-438-1388) Monday-Friday, 10 a.m-4 p.m. 

·        Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge offers maple sugaring demonstrations and lessons in how to make your own maple syrup at home, hosted by the Blackstone Valley Sugaring Association. Visitors can watch syrup being made, sample maple products, see trees being tapped, participate in gathering sap, and visit the park’s sugar house. Limited group tours will be offered during the first three weekends in March (March 1 & 2, March 8 & 9, and March 15 & 16) beginning at 9 a.m. Contact the Blackstone Valley Sugaring Association (508-278-5274) or

Second Annual Maple Bucket Art Silent Auction Announced


Uxbridge, MA. The Blackstone Valley Sugaring Association and The Rainbow Palette have announced their second annual silent art auction of vintage maple sugaring buckets. Vintage maple sap buckets have been painted by artists throughout the Blackstone Valley with scenes of the valley, sugaring and other winter in New England themes. 


The painted buckets will be unveiled at a wine and cheese reception on Saturday, February 16 at 6 PM at The Rainbow Palette Café Galley and Community Arts Center. The public is invited to preview these beautiful buckets at the reception and to place initial bids. 


Following the reception, the buckets may be viewed and bids may be placed at The Rainbow Palette through February 28 and at the River Bend Farm Visitors Center at the Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park at 287 Oak Street between March 1 - 16 during open hours. Bids will also be accepted during the Park’s Maple Sugar Days Program where visitors can see maple syrup being made on site at the park’s sugar house. Winners will be announced at 4:30 pm on March 16. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Blackstone Valley Sugaring Association and The Rainbow Palette’s TLC Program for students with disabilities, low-income and the elderly.


For more information, contact the Blackstone Valley Sugaring Association at 508-278-5274 or Laura O. Cenedella at the Rainbow Palette at 508-278-3900 or see their websites at and


·        D.A.R. State Forest  in Goshen will arrange maple sugaring tours at the Krug Sugarbush for school groups, beginning the second week in March. Groups can schedule tours in either the morning (after 10 a.m.) or afternoon, but should contact D.A.R. no earlier than a week in advance to allow for the best prediction of weather and sugaring conditions. Call 413-268-7098. 


For more information on individual parks, and for driving directions, see DCR’s website at


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