City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Feb. 19 and May 29. 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 onsite for questions. The fire will be under control at all times. NAP asks that anyone with health concerns related to potential exposure to smoke from controlled burning to contact their office before Feb. 18 so necessary steps can be taken to minimize risks.
An online public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7–8:30 p.m., on Zoom: https://tinyurl.com/BurnMeeting021721. Passcode: 296115
To join by telephone: US: +1 206 337 9723 or +1 213 338 8477 or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free) or 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) Webinar ID: 935 6427 1984. International numbers available: https://a2gov.zoom.us/u/a4loSfGs6. Those unable to attend who would like to learn more can contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email NAP@a2gov.org or visit a2gov.org/NAPburn.
Where will NAP burn?
During the spring 2021 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, Black Pond Woods Nature Area, Botsford Nature Area, Buhr Park, Buttonbush Nature Area, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Earhart Nature Area, Gallup Park, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Maryfield Wildwood Park, Miller Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, Stapp Nature Area, Sunset Brooks Nature Area, Swift Run Park, and the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive.
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, Feb. 18, noon–5 p.m. Enrollment is limited, preregister by Feb. 17 by calling NAP at 734.794.6627 or emailing NAP@a2gov.org.
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. NAP also posts day-of-burn information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/a2NAP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ann.arbor.nap
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.