Prairie burn planned in Lake Elmo

LAKE ELMO — The Washington County Parks Division plans a prescribed prairie burn in Lake Elmo Park Reserve between Sept. 20th and Oct. 18.

`The controlled burn will take approximately one to three hours to accomplish and occurs on a between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a weekday. The burn is conducted in conjunction with the local fire departments and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The prairie burn will occur when weather conditions permit a safe and effective fire. It might be rescheduled several times until conditions are just right. Trained personnel with fire-fighting equipment will be on-site until the fire is extinguished.

Prairies are durable and complex grassland communities that provide food and cover for wildlife, protect against soil erosion, filter rainwater, display beautiful colors throughout the year and add natural character to the park landscape.

Once established, prairies are relatively care free with the exception of management through controlled burns. Fire controls the invasion of undesirable plants by stimulating those plants that are adapted to fire, while simultaneously killing off the woody and weedy plants that would otherwise take over the site. By initiating a controlled burn, a natural process is being reintroduced to the landscape.

For additional information, contact the Washington County Parks Division at 651-430-4328.