March marks the start of spring and a sweet-tasting tradition. Join the Essex Region Conservation Authority as we celebrate Maple Syrup’s natural and cultural heritage in our community. We have a number events on tap for the month hosted at the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area.

The Homestead is located at 915 Essex County Road 50, Essex, ON (on the corner of Iler Road and County Road 50).

Learn more at our new Science of Maple exhibit, made possible by the generous support of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

If you have any questions about our Maple events or you would like to book a school trip, please contact:
Kris Ives

Maple Syrup Festival

Saturday, March 7 & Sunday, March 8
11am to 4pm
$6/adult, $4/child (ages 3-16), $20 family maximum

Wear your boots to Essex County’s premier Maple Syrup Festival. Back by popular demand, we will once again be holding this festival over two days! Make maple taffy in the snow and see syrup being made the pioneer way. Pure maple products for sale.

This year’s festival will feature special themes each day!
On day one, the Homestead invites all visitors to don their best ‘lumberjack look’ – get out your plaid jackets and fuzzy toques! Along with traditional maple activities, a maple themed lunch will be featured from a local food truck. Day one will also include a Beard and Moustache Competition, a Maple Market, Mini-Maple Maker’s activity for kids, and more!

On day two, the Homesteaders invites visitors to enjoy all of the old-fashioned favourites, along with some new foodie-themed activities! New activities include: The Backyard Maple Makers’ competition (have your homemade syrup judged by award winning local maple producer, Jean Giffin! Enjoy the Maple Market with special maple sweets for sale (maple cotton candy, maple taffy cones, and more). Learn about the science behind maple, with talks and tastings.

Maple March Break for Families

Tuesday, March 17 & Friday, March 20
1:30pm sharp
$6/adult, $4/child (ages 3-16), $20 family maximum

Arrive early, dress warmly and wear boots. Families tour the site with a costumed guide and discover the sweet process of maple syrup and sugar making in the pioneer method. Help carry the sap using pails and a wooden yoke. Try your hand at the brace and bit drill. See the trees tapped and the sap evaporating. Learn the history of this sweet springtime treat as you help to make and taste maple sugar.

Maple Moon

Tuesday, March 17
7 – 8:30pm
Pre-registration required. Register here.

Join us for an old-fashioned sugaring off party! Help collect sap and boil it down by moonlight. Make taffy on the snow, join in the barn dance, linger for star gazing and legends.

Maple Dinner Fundraiser

Saturday, March 28
2020 Menu Coming Soon!
To reserve a seat, contact Oxley Estate at 519-738-3264

Join us at Oxley Estate Winery for a maple-themed dinner. Proceeds from this event go towards the Essex Region Conservation Foundation for cultural heritage to protect and restore the John R. Park Homestead.

Enjoy delectable courses with a taste of maple at every step. Homestead interpreters will be on hand to teach about maple history in the region.