Imagine a Canada without maple trees. And without maple syrup. This could be the reality if the Asian long-horned beetle were to spread through Canadian forests. Not only is maple syrup integral to our pancake breakfasts, but it’s also an important part of our economy. Last year $25 million of syrup flowed out of Ontario trees alone. An outbreak of an invasive species like the Asian long-horned beetle could result in a significant loss of revenue, jobs, and an ecological and cultural cornerstone.
RAIN is working with the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Algoma Maple Syrup Producers Association and Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association to create an interactive exhibit that will engage and educate museum visitors on the production of Ontario maple syrup and its contributions. It will be part of the museum’s Natural Resources Canada section on Sustainable Forest Management that considers the devastating impacts of invasive species. The exhibit will also promote local maple syrup producers and opportunities.
The centerpiece of the exhibit will be an iPad video game application, “Sap Tap”, developed by North Origin Games. Visitors can help a young girl named Sarah and her grandfather go through the process of making syrup – all the way from the tree to the table.
RAIN’s goal with the project is to create consumer awareness on the Ontario maple industry and the risk invasive species pose. It will raise the profile of the Algoma maple syrup industry and call attention to the significant potential for expansion. While the full section will not be launched until 2019, the maple syrup exhibit will be completed this year.
- Statistical Overview of the Canadian Maple Industry 2017, http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/industry-markets-and-trade/canadian-agri-food-sector-intelligence/horticulture/horticulture-sector-reports/statistical-overview-of-the-canadian-maple-industry-2017/?id=1524607854094
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