Environmental Beat: Office of Sustainability holds maple tree tapping event Wednesday

Maple Tree Tapping, Photo by Susan van Gelder via Flickr

On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the University of Connecticut Office of Sustainability will be holding a maple tree tapping event via Instagram Live to educate students about the history of maple trees, tree tapping, and more, according to the description of the event.  

Lauren Little, an environmental educator and urban farmer who previously spoke at the UConn Foundation program panel “Tilling the Soil: Black Farmers, Sustainability and Uplifting Community” will also be the guest speaker and host of the tree-tapping event. 

Hope Dymond, a fourth semester environmental engineering major and intern at the UConn Office of Sustainability, as well as an organizer of the event, described what Little plans to go over during the event.  

“She’s going to take us downtown from her apartment to a maple tree and tap the maple tree and then she’ll talk about the history of the maple syrup, and the tools she uses, and as an environmental educator she’ll probably talk about the techniques she uses … she may even do a little lesson,” Dymond said. 

Dymond and Little were inspired to educate the public on the history of tree-tapping after discussions following the “Tilling the Soil” panel that Little previously spoke at. She stated maple was chosen due to the changing weather and current maple season.  

As an environmental educator, Little is dedicated to engaging with students of all ages, especially children, on environmental topics, Dymond said.  

“She’s an environmental educator, so she works mainly with kids to get them interested and she has this big bee puppet for pollination and for various environmental topics and then the tree tapping would fit under that umbrella,” said Dymond. “We hope it will be fun; she has all these puppets and stuff to engage the kids, and we were joking that that even works with college students.” 

When asked what she hoped students would learn from this event, she stated the importance of students breaking out of the UConn bubble and learning about and engaging with environmental education outside of UConn. 

“The thing that we were thinking is to feel connected to the environmental education that’s happening outside of UConn, because a lot of the stuff we promote is inside of UConn, or panels or events that are happening at UConn, versus you breaking out of the UConn bubble and seeing Hartford and that city and seeing the environmental work going on there, so we hope people can learn about that and it kind of all connects,” Dymond said. “We hope kids are interested in the environment and can explore that more.” 

Dymond stated the Office of Sustainability had been looking to do an event on Instagram live for some time due to its accessibility and engagement. 

“We wanted to do something with Instagram live for a while because it seemed like an engaging way to get people involved, so hopefully people will just come and check it out,” Dymond said.  

She also encouraged students to utilize the comment function to ask questions during the event.  

Dymond concluded by adding that more information from Lauren Little would be provided following the event just in case students wish to learn more.  

“We are creating a list of resources from her at the end so we can put it on all our social media so other people can see if they want to learn more,” Dymond said. “It’s just a short event, it probably won’t take up much of their day, you can pop in and out, it’s not really like a Zoom call … it’s kind of informal.” 

The event can be found via Instagram live on the UConn Office of Sustainability Instagram.

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