Prescribed Burn This Weekend, Weather Permitting

A bluebell (Mertensia virginica) on March 16, 2024—the first bloom of the year in Waters Garden.

Spring is here. The garden is waking, and soon our regular work days will be back. As is our tradition, we will be starting the season with fire. Prescribed burns simulate the wild fires that were part of the natural ecosystem that historically existed in the Chicago area. They were used by Native Americans to maintain open woods for safety, farming, and hunting. Now, they are an essential tool in restoration ecology. Chicago area native plants have evolved to withstand fire, some even requiring periodic fire as part of their life cycle. Many invasive plants are not fire evolved, so prescription burning is a valuable tool in keeping these invaders at bay.

This Sunday, March 24, we plan to conduct a prescribed burn in the garden, weather permitting. We will meet at 12:30 p.m. to prepare and hope to have fire on the ground around 1:30 p.m.

If you have attended a prescribed burn training or you have burned with us in the past, please join us as part of the support crew. All others are welcome to come out and watch, but please remember to keep yourself and any children a safe distance from the fire and the burn crew.