Prescribed Prairie Burns
Published: April 9, 2015
By: Alyssa Mowrer '16
Parkside's Facilities Management will be conducting prescribed prairie burns to control brush and promote native plant diversity. This will all be under the direction of the Environmental Studies Steering Committee and it will be completely safe and beneficial to our school.
Prairie burns are prescribed by State Wildlife Officials in the state of Wisconsin to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities, and prevent wildfires. Without this tool, Wisconsin would lose its native grassland, woodland, and wetland plant communities. The way it works is that the prairie grasses that we want to keep safe have deep roots that withstand the fire while the invasive plants have shallow roots and are removed by the fire.
These prescribed burns typically take place around March through May because of the weather conditions and to ensure safe burning for nearby animals that are less active at this time of year. Parkside will only proceed with these burns when the conditions are appropriate and there are enough qualified staff to ensure a safe burn. Everyone will be notified ahead of time about when the burns will take place.
We should look at this as a Real.Amazing opportunity to learn more about the native plants that we are lucky to have on our beautiful campus. Students are getting a great chance to learn about prairie burns and experience them in a safe environment. We are all doing our part to keep Wisconsin and Parkside thriving.