Over the course of our rough winter, the towering grasses on the prairie have been blown over. They now lay atop of last year’s fallen flowers and grasses, as the new growth on the prairie works to emerge from this layer of fallen vegetation. Amidst this dense carpeting, industrious squirrels and birds have been busily adding trees, shrubberies and other woody vegetation. To maintain this important ecosystem, it is necessary to remove these woody plants.
Prairies were once maintained by grazing bisons and naturally occurring fires. To remove these unwanted plant varieties from our prairie now, TWC staff perform a prescribed burn. When weather conditions are just right – humidity, temperature, wind direction and speed – careful application of fire will remove these encroaching species and provide vital nutrients to encourage healthy growth. As the Foxfield prairie continues to become more established, our hope is that burns will only become necessary every 3-5 years.
This year’s burn took place on our lower prairie. It was incredibly successful, and all thanks goes to the TWC burn crew. Though the ground looks blackened and charred now, it won’t take long for that to change. We can’t wait to share photos in the coming weeks as the prairie begins to flourish! Stop by and watch nature’s amazing progress.