Nestled within the Indiana Dunes National Park, Chellberg Farm stands as a beacon of natural and historical education, particularly renowned for its Maple Sugar Time programs.
These programs, scheduled for March, offer a unique opportunity for school classes and education groups to immerse themselves in the traditional process of maple sugaring. The farm, with its rich history and serene environment, provides the perfect backdrop for this educational journey.
The Maple Sugar Time programs at Chellberg Farm are meticulously designed to cater to visitors of all ages, with a special focus on elementary-grade students, as per a news release by the National Park Service (NPS).
The ranger-led tours guide participants through the evolution of maple sugaring, from indigenous methods to the techniques used in the 1930s at the Chellberg Sugar House. This historical perspective not only educates but also fascinates, offering a glimpse into the past and its connection to the present.
One of the highlights of the program is the hands-on experience it offers. Visitors get the chance to tap a Maple Tree post, an activity that brings the theory of maple sugaring to life. This interactive element of the program is both engaging and informative, allowing participants to understand the practical aspects of maple syrup production.
Additionally, the tour culminates with a taste of real maple syrup at the Chellberg Farmhouse, a sweet reward that delights the senses and enriches the learning experience.
The educational value of the Maple Sugar Time programs is significant. They are aligned with several state education standards, ensuring that the learning experience is both comprehensive and relevant.
The NPS provides educational guides to scheduled groups, further enhancing the program’s educational impact. These guides serve as valuable resources, offering in-depth information and insights into the process of maple sugaring.
The programs are offered on specific dates in March – the 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, and 15th – and are accessible free of charge to schools through the education fee waiver program. This accessibility underscores the Service’s commitment to educational outreach and community engagement.
The opportunity to participate in such a program without financial barriers opens up avenues for a diverse range of students to experience and learn from the natural world.
For educators and group leaders interested in participating in the Maple Sugar Time programs, the NPS has made the process of inquiry and scheduling straightforward.
Education Ranger Christine Gerlach is available for further questions and assistance, ensuring that groups can easily access this unique educational opportunity. Her role is pivotal in facilitating a smooth and enriching experience for all participants.
Chellberg Farm is located at 618 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, Indiana, within the Indiana Dunes National Park.
The park itself is a treasure trove of biodiversity, encompassing over 15,000 acres of beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes along 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. It attracts over 3 million visitors annually, drawn to its natural beauty and the array of educational programs it offers.
The Maple Sugar Time programs at Chellberg Farm are more than just educational tours; they are an immersive experience that connects visitors with the natural world and the history of the region.
They exemplify the National Park Service’s mission to preserve and interpret the natural and cultural resources of the park for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.