Vermont doesn’t need to look at the laurels yet, but now New Jersey is putting its mark on the maple sugar industry. Stockton University has received a couple of $ 500,000 grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the past two years to fund a maple sugar research program that will have centers in Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May and Gloucester counties, including Stockton and Philadelphia.

The project has started on the Stockton campus 400 trees this winter. The maple sugar school project used modern technology such as reverse osmosis and vacuum auxiliary pumps to create an extensive drying system on the main campus of 1,600 acres. In February, red maples began to be selected, which have a lower sugar content than sugar maples, but there are many in South Jersey.

One of the purposes of the grants is to create an advocacy program focused on traditional methods of fertilizing certain properties of South Jersey. The project team is looking for area residents with access to several red maples at least 12 inches in diameter that can collect and process the juice into syrup. Materials and training will be provided. Participants keep the syrup and ask to record the harvest and allow the Stockton researcher to collect soil and vegetation samples from the property.

Data will be collected over three years. Stockton researchers will use this data to study the scientific and economic potential of the maple syrup industry in non-traditional syrup-producing regions such as South Jersey, and to investigate the environmental impact of knocking on trees and local wildlife.

Those interested in participating in a maple sugaring pilot program can email

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