Beaver Lake Hannah Warren
My new status as the local food blogger has me amped to try all kinds of new foods, and to seek out the best restaurants in the Syracuse area for some prime locavore nosh. However, I think it’s important to adopt a very encompassing definition of what should be interesting to local food lovers; in my world, environmental education is a big part of local food culture, and why it’s so important to eat locally when you can.
To that end, I wanted to share with you all about an amazing trip I had off campus this weekend. I drove two friends to Beaver Lake Nature Center (LINK: http://beaverlakenaturecenter.org/index.html), a little green sanctuary of a place in Baldwinsville, NY that happens to be hosting community pancake breakfasts every Saturday and Sunday in March.
It only took 25 minutes to reach the place, and the most expensive menu option (for three pancakes and three sausage links, drink included) was $4.50. While the ingredients used to make the breakfast aren’t exclusively local, the real maple syrup they served was from Komrowski Maple (LINK: http://www.nysmaple.com/buy-local/show-producer?producer=172), a family business in Memphis, NY, and the sausage was purchased from a local distributor.
There’s a whole lot of neighborly love that goes into the operation of this place. Volunteers make and serve breakfast to young families and big groups alike in the main hall, which is just opposite the environmental education center. While you wait in line to pay, you can check out the taxidermy displays (Pet birds and woodland creatures with two fingers!) or peruse the used books on sale by the front desk.
After a filling breakfast, there are numerous trails to hike, from .3 to 3 miles in length, and a presentation on the process of tapping maple trees and making maple syrup. (Did you know it takes between 40 and 44 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup?!)
The center operates numerous educational workshops on everything from composting to gardening and home improvement, summer day camps for children, fitness classes, group hikes, and beginner’s photography sessions. The center has almost completed a children’s room, a place for books and games for young visitors.
I highly recommend a visit to Beaver Lake Nature Center, for anyone looking to spend a few hours off campus, eat some delicious pancakes, and to spend some time in the great outdoors.