Burning land is important to maintain healthy ecosystems. Here are Restoration Ecologist Melissa Grycan’s four important reasons for burning.
1. Throughout McHenry County fire was historically a part of the ecosystem, and many of our native plants are adapted to fire and rely on occasional controlled burns.
2. These burns are the most efficient method we have to control unwanted plants like buckthorn and brambles, and can help with garlic mustard control.
3. Exposing bare ground helps stimulate native grasses and wildflower growth.
4. The natural areas burned in the last five years support far more animals on average than natural areas that don’t get burned.
A burn at the Wolf Oak Woods site in December 2017. (Credit: Lauretta Wolf)