Wild Center granted $144k more for maple project

TUPPER LAKE – The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced nearly $30 million in grants to museums across the nation – including The Wild Center, which will receive $144,273 through the Community Anchors program for a project to continue the Northern New York Maple project.

The main goal of the Wild

Center’s maple project is to connect people to nature through the art, story and science of maple sugaring. Partners include the Adirondack Museum, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Maple Program and the New York State and Northeastern New York maple producers’ associations.

Hillarie Logan-Dechene, director of philanthropy at The Wild Center, will travel to Washington for a workshop and ceremony Sept. 18 to be recognized for the award. IMLS Director Susan Hildreth will present a workshop and ceremony on Capitol Hill to recognize the 2013 museum winners and to highlight successful applicants and awards. The event will showcase the many ways museums support learning experiences, serve as community anchors and are stewards of cultural and scientific heritage through the preservation of their collections.

New York state has the potential to increase local production of pure maple syrup to take advantage of the growing demand for local, healthy and organic food. The IMLS-funded 2013-2015 Northern New York Maple Project is intended to meet this need by supporting this growing industry with education and resources to build regional identity and understanding of the art, science and story of maple sugaring.

“We became interested in maple sugaring in 2011 and began a small-scale Community Sugaring project,” Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe said in the release. “This season we expanded the project with support from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The interest shown by New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales during a recent visit specifically to see our sugar shack and learn more about the program, demonstrates the growth the New York maple industry could see. The boost maple could give to small, rural communities during a typically slow time is encouraging and innovative.”