Natural Area Preservation Spring Controlled Ecological Burn Season to Begin Feb. 22

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A controlled burns public meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7–8:30 p.m.

February 9, 2018 - ​City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Feb. 22 and May 25. A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Park Meeting Room, 2150 Jackson Ave. If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email, or visit

Burns are conducted on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting. On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the park, and staff will be available on site for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.

Where will NAP burn?

During the spring 2018 season, NAP has permits to burn at the following city-owned sites: Argo Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, The Botsford Property, Braun Nature Area, Brokaw Nature Area, Buhr Park, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area, Folkstone Park, Foxfire South Park, Foxfire West Park, Fritz Park, Furstenberg Nature Area, Gallup Park, Hollywood Park, Huron Hills Golf Course, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Lakewood Nature Area, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Science and Nature Center, Mary Beth Doyle Park, Oakridge Nature Area, Oakwoods Nature Area, Riverwood Nature Area, Ruthven Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, Sugarbush Park and Sylvan Park.

Why burn?

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 is involved in conducting burns?

NAP staff evaluate each site and develop 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.

How can you get more information?

Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. If you would like to be called on the day of a burn near you, please call NAP and leave your name, daytime phone number and street address. Day-of-burn information is also posted on Twitter at and on Facebook at

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the city clerk's office at 734.794.6140; via email to:; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk's Office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests need to be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

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Contact Information

Natural Area Preservation

Ann Arbor has 119,000 residents, spans 28.9 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, follow us on Twitter or become a city fan on Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.