LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville is teaching sustainability in new ways with a new initiative for students to collect maple syrup.

What You Need To Know

  • Students are tapping maple trees for sap to make maple syrup at the University of Louisville

  • It's part of a sustainability workshop led by UofL Sustainability

  • It takes 30 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syurp

  • Students will sample the syrup at the pancake party in April 

Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives at the University of Louisville Justin Mog is teaching the importance of preserving our natural resources with sweet success. 

“This is the ninth year that we’ve been tapping in to the sweet sustainability that is right here on our campus that even I didn’t know was a possibility in 2009 when I got here,” said Mog. 

Mog and UofL students tapped around 15 maple trees around the campus to collect tree sap.

“You drill a little whole. Tt doesn’t hurt the tree at all,” said Mog.

Once the whole is drilled, buckets are placed under the tap, and the collection begins.

“Sugar maples are what you want for good sap production,” said Mog. 

Once collected, volunteers will dump the buckets in a central location so the sap can be boiled and transform into maple syrup.

“We’ll come back and sample the syrup in April at our pancake party right around Earth Day,” said Mog. 

It takes a lot of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup — between 30 and 40 gallons of sap.

“The whole garage where he boils it down smells like golden grahams. It’s really delightful,” said Mog. 

And although the syrup is a treat, the project is more than that.

“This is about hyper-localizing our food economy and helping people understand the value of what’s already here, that we just ignore,” said Mog. 

And that makes sustainability sweet.

The maple syrup and pancake party with UofL Sustainability is April 19. Students can volunteer to empty buckets online.