Ann Arbor to hold public meeting Tuesday on spring controlled burn season

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

NAP staff hold a controlled burn demo at the Leslie Science and Nature Center on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR - Believe it or not, we are headed into spring.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the city of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation will be holding a public meeting and Q & A at Northside Community Center at 815 Taylor St. from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on upcoming controlled ecological burns in the city's nature areas.

The meeting will officially kick off spring controlled burn season, with burns taking place from Feb. 20 through May 24.

Burns are conducted from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, weather permitting.

Each burn site is marked with signs, and staff are available to answer questions.

Controlled burn sign at Barton Nature Area on Oct. 13, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Last year, we attended NAP's spring controlled burn training at Leslie Science & Nature Center.

For more information, visit

Here's more information from NAP:

Where do we burn?

During the spring 2019 season, NAP has permits to burn at the following city-owned sites: Argo Nature Area, Barton Nature Area, Berkshire Creek Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, Botsford Nature Preserve, Buhr Park, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Foxfire South Park, Foxfire West Park, Fritz Park, Furstenberg Nature Area, Hollywood Park, Huron Hills Golf Course Woods, Leslie Park, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Science and Nature Center, Marshall Nature Area, Maryfield Wildwood Nature Area, Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area, Oakwoods Nature Area, Olson Park, South Pond Nature Area, Sugarbush Park, Sylvan Park, Tubbs Nature Area and Wurster Park.

Why bu​​rn?

Our native Ann Arbor ecosystems are fire-dependent. Until settlers began suppressing fires in the early 1700s, fire enriched the soil and removed dead thatch, allowing diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive. Continued fire suppression has allowed fire-intolerant, non-native plant species to out compete the native, fire-adapted plants. By reintroducing fire in our parks, we are reinstating an essential ecosystem process.

What goes into conducting burns?

NAP staff evaluates each site and develops a burn plan that provides information on the specific ecological objectives of the burn, preferred weather conditions to minimize smoke, ignition pattern, location of burn breaks to safely contain the fire, equipment, contingency plans, and emergency phone numbers. City and township fire marshals review the plans before issuing the necessary permits. NAP then waits until weather conditions are within the range specified in the burn plan before proceeding.

On burn days, NAP posts information and updates on Twitter and Facebook

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