NAP Controlled Ecological Burn Season & Feb. 18 Public Meeting

February 7, 2020 – ​City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Feb. 20 and May 22, 2020. A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave. Those unable to attend this meeting who want to learn more can 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 wi​ll NAP burn?

During the spring 2020 season, NAP has permits to burn in the following locations: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Argo Nature Area, Berkshire Creek Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, Botsford Nature Preserve, Buhr Park, Buttonbush Nature Area, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Foxfire West Nature Area, Gallup Park, Hilltop Nature Area, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Leslie Park, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Maryfield Wildwood Park, Ruthven Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, Stapp Nature Area, Sugarbush Park, Swift Run Marsh, Veterans Memorial Park and White Oak Park.

Why ​​burn?

Ann Arbor’s native 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 the parks, NAP is reinstating an essential ecosystem process.

What is involved in co​​​nducting 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.

How can you get m​​ore information?

Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. Those who would like to be notified on the day of a nearby burn can call NAP and provide name, daytime phone number and street address. NAP also posts day-of-burn information 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.