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March Membership Meeting: Maple Syrup Magic

  • Environmental Interpretive Center 4901 Evergreen Road Dearborn, MI, 48128 United States (map)

7:00 p.m.  Refreshments and networking

7:30 p.m.  Project announcements

8:00 p.m.  Roy Prentice, MSU Tollgate Farm Manager, on Maple Syrup Magic

Ever wondered about how maple syrup gets from the tree to your table? Come listen to Tollgate Farm Manager, Roy Prentice, as he describes maple syrup making at Tollgate and throughout the industry. The syruping season is right around the corner. Come see how this little miracle of nature happens every spring.

Roy Prentice is the long-time Farm Manager at Tollgate, a 160-acre farm at Meadowbrook and Twelve Mile Roads in Novi, not far from Twelve Oaks Mall, but a world away. Tollgate,, includes beautiful Tollgate Gardens. Roy and approximately 150 active volunteers host three major public events each year—plant sale fund-raiser in June, garden open house in July and fall fair in September—and tend nearly twenty gardens—including the arboretum, children’s, constructed wetland/pond, enabling, farmhouse, heritage, high density orchard, hosta, plant-a-row (for donating tons of food to the food bank), nursery, rock ledge, rose, shade, xeriscape—at Tollgate. The Novi Beautification Commission maintains a rain garden at Tollgate. The grounds are open to the public 9 a.m. to dark, Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays and holidays).

Tollgate volunteers have activity days most Saturdays, starting with maple syrup taping in late February and running through garden clean-up in October, plus rose garden mulching in December. Roy works with a variety of Eagle Scout projects to add features to the gardens at Tollgate. A native of Ann Arbor, Roy has BS and MS degrees in Forestry from MSU.