Sweet and Sustainable: Elm is Now Selling Yale Forests Maple Syrup

May 29, 2024

Words by Olivia Ren ‘26

Art by Emily Cai ‘25

A training program at the Yale School of Environment (YSE) is taking the lead in promoting sustainable maple syrup production at the Yale-Myers Forest. For a limited time, we get to benefit from this delicious initiative!

Yale Forests Maple Syrup is currently available for purchase at $20 per bottle in Elm at the Yale Schwarzman Center Underground- while supplies last. Elm’s summer hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

With Connecticut producing only less than 0.5% of its maple syrup potential, Joseph Orefice, Yale Forests Director of Forest and Agricultural Operations, sought to find a way to enhance the recognition of maple syrup in the state. Thus came the Maple Education and Extension Program, which was launched by the Forest School at YSE to empower New England sugar producers and backyard enthusiasts to adapt to sustainable, research-driven syrup production methods as the industry faces increasing pressures due to warming temperatures.

The program operates in the 7,840 acre Yale-Myers Forest located in northeastern Connecticut. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acer Access and Development Program, the initiative offers training workshops for companies and students on various aspects of the syrup production process, from sap collection to maple silviculture to sugarbush management.

One key component of the program is its signature product line: Yale Forests Maple Syrup. Under Orefice’s guidance, Yale students and faculty produce their own maple syrup at the Yale-Myers Forest, yielding at least 50 gallons this year. The syrup is then bottled and sold to the Yale community, with the sales revenue supporting student programming at the YSE and Yale Forests operations.

Ultimately, this initiative is not just about tapping trees; it is about tapping into a sustainable future. And through Yale Forests Maple Syrup, the sweetness of sustainability can be shared with the community.

For more information on the Maple Education and Extension Program or Yale Forests Maple Syrup, please visit the Yale Forests website.