Urbana Park District notifying public of Prescribed Burn

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URBANA – Urbana Park District officials say staff and volunteers will be holding a prescribed burn tomorrow (March 17) in Busey Woods, if conditions are favorable.

According to the Urbana Park District, prescribed burns are an important part of managing natural areas, such as prairie and woodlands. These fires have a history of sustaining local natural communities that originally developed under drier and warmer conditions.

Fire continues to be used to maintain ecological health and control the invasion of trees and non-native plants, especially in Meadowbrook Park and Busey Woods.

The Urbana Park District carries out these burns with the assistance of volunteers on the Natural Areas Management Team, while under the supervision of the Urbana Fire Department.

Volunteers and staff will gather at the Anita Purves Nature Center at 1 PM on Thursday, March 17, to get set up and begin the burning. The remaining acreage will serve as a refuge for wildlife. This prescribed burn will be closed to visitors before and during the burn.

Those involved will also be on hand afterward to help guide park visitors clear of the area.

The Urbana Park District has provided a map of the area and highlighted where the burning will take place, so visitors can safely avoid it. Anyone with questions about prescribed burns is encouraged to speak with Natural Areas Coordinator Matt Balk, by email at mjbalk@urbanaparks.org; or Superintendent of Planning and Operations Derek Liebert, by phone at 217-344-9583.

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