Prescribed Burn in Pope Lick Park to Restore Prairie Habitat
On Tuesday, March 7, with the support of Eastwood Fire Department, Jeffersontown Fire Departments, and Eco-Tech Consultants, The Parklands Natural Areas Team conducted the park’s first prescribed burn. The Prairie Preserve, located just south of the Louisville Loop Pedestrian Bridge in Pope Lick Park, is largely comprised of warm season grasses that can benefit from this tool known to restore prairie, grassland and savanna habitats and reduce occurrences of weedy plants and invasive species.
As described in this blog post from Natural Areas Team Leader, Evan Patrick, fire once served as the original land management tool, particularly in the plains, prairies and woodlands of North America. Contemporarily, controlled burns are a tool used by parks, forests and private land owners, as a natural way to reinvigorate soils, revive grasslands, and create new habitat for animals. Controlled Burning: How Fires Help, Not Harm, Our Land
In addition to obtaining necessary permits from Eastwood Fire Department, Jeffersontown Fire Department, Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Jefferson County Air Pollution Control District, the event called for a clear, windless day—easier said than done in the month of March. The third time proved to be our charm as the sun shone and wind settled on Monday afternoon, providing a perfect setting, ensuring the safety of neighbors, nearby natural areas and participants.
Parklands staff worked side-by-side with firefighters from the Eastwood and Jeffersontown Fire Departments to make sure the fire remained under control. With the weather on our side, water and garden tools provided the remaining tools needed to keep flames confined to the prairie grasses.
This spring, as you walk, run, or ride your bike along our Louisville Loop, Prairie Preserve and Big Beech Trails, take a moment to observe how the native grasses re-grow and the wildlife changes throughout the Prairie Preserve. Parklands staff will also be documenting the change to evaluate the effectiveness of this practice and determine how best to use the tool moving forward.
About the Author
As Manager of Marketing and Communications, Anna Rosales-Crone manages internal and external communications strategies for The Parklands, as well as marketing to promote facility rentals, educational programming, fundraising and overall park awareness. Anna was hired as Communications Coordinator in May of 2015 to help build awareness of the newly constructed park by managing The Parklands brand, website and social media. Prior to joining The Parklands team, she worked in communications at the American Red Cross for five years where she grew the Louisville Area Chapter’s digital and social media presence while supporting public relations, marketing and special events. She also provided public affairs support and guidance during major disaster operations. Anna is a graduate of the University of Evansville where she met her husband and the second love of her life—traveling. She also enjoys hiking, reading, baking, dancing, going to concerts and hanging out with her two cats. Contact me about: media relations, photo requests and website.