Archived News Release: February 2, 2023 - City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between February 17 and May 26. 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.
Anyone with health concerns related to potential exposure to smoke from controlled burning is asked to contact NAP before February 17 so we can take the necessary steps to minimize risks.
Where will we burn?
During the Spring 2023 season, NAP has permits to burn in the following locations: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Argo Nature Area , Bird Hills Nature Area, Buhr Park, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Dolph Nature Area, Folkstone Park, Furstenberg Nature Area, Hansen Nature Area, Huron Hills Golf Course Woods, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Mary Beth Doyle Park , Miller Nature Area, Oakwoods Nature Area, Redbud Nature Area, Ruthven Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, West Park , and the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive.
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 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 volunteer with NAP for controlled burns?
Anyone interested in assisting with NAP's controlled burns can register for the required training session to be held on Thursday, February 16, from noon to 5 p.m. Register through VolunteerHub by February 15. Call 734.794.6627 or email [email protected] for more information. A portion of the training will be held outdoors.
How can you get more information?
More information can be found on NAP's controlled ecological burn webpage. Because burns are weather-dependent, we are 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 us and leave us your name, daytime phone number, and street address. We also post day-of-burn information on Facebook.
A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the NAP office at 3875 E Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email [email protected], or visit a2gov.org/NAPburn.
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: [email protected]; 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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