Visitors in 2019 found a variety of plants to purchase at the Indian Creek Nature Center Spring Plant and Art Sale in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Indian Creek Nature Center is modifying two of its popular spring events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning today, Feb. 8, 2021, the Spring Plant & Art Sale has begun, with online pre-sales of native perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees and ground cover. The presale will remain open until noon Feb. 24.

Related: See photos from a previous plant sale at the Indian Creek Nature Center

Another round of sales will open April 21-28 and will include annuals, vegetables, art and any extra plants available from the first round of sales. Orders will be placed through the Nature Center’s website. Pick-up, at the Nature Center’s site at at 5300 Otis Rd. SE, will begin May 1.

Read on for more from the Indian Creek Nature Center about changes to its 38th annual  Maple Syrup Festival:

Volunteers flip pancakes during a previous Maple Syrup Festival at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Nature Center’s signature Maple Syrup Festival, traditionally held over a weekend in March, will be adapted to a drive-thru model on one day only this year. From 8 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, March 20, the community will still be able to enjoy their favorite pancake breakfast featuring our delicious, fresh maple syrup on pancakes and sausage, now from the safety and comfort of their cars.

Meals will be $6 each and will include three pancakes, two sausage links and a portion of the Nature Center’s real, handcrafted maple syrup. People are welcome to purchase as many meals as they would like. Add-on items will also be available, including jars of ICNC’s honey and maple syrup, pints of maple syrup ice cream made by Dan and Debbie’s Creamery, and maple beer brewed by Iowa Brewing Company for those 21 years and older. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase: one for $5 or five for $20. A number of prizes from local business partners will be randomly selected following the festival.

The Nature Center will still be offering in-person maple syruping programs throughout the month of March for $4 per person. These programs are open to the public and are a wonderful learning opportunity for people of all ages. Learn how easy it is to tap maple trees and make delicious syrup, study historical sugaring methods, and see how weather, tree physiology and chemistry turn sap into syrup. While these 60-minute programs are held in-person, we do require masks and physical distancing, and please dress appropriately for the outdoors. The 38th annual Maple Syrup Festival and syruping programming is supported by the Linn County Legacy and Community Attraction Fund.

Both the Spring Plant & Art Sale and Maple Syrup Festival are beloved community events in Cedar Rapids, but also support the Nature Center’s nonprofit mission to provide environmental education programming and leadership in land protection and restoration in our community and beyond.

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