Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wet Meadow Prescribed Burn - April 5, 2011

One of our annual rituals is a prescribed ecological burn. This year it was held on Tuesday April 5, 2011.

We started as usual about 4 PM in the original wet meadow (near the sledding hill.) Kids and parents will removed leaves from the meadows, collected native plant seeds, and gently bent down the old plant stalks.  Around 4:30 PM, the trained experts from the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation explained safety procedures, then initiated the "prescribed burn". There were lots of safe places to watch the action.

A bonus this year was a visit from a red tailed hawk!

Watch for 2011 photos coming soon.

We've been doing this for several years - here's a photo.

Although burning may seem destructive, fire actually serves to stimulate vigorous new growth of native plants, control the invasion of undesirable plants, warm the soil and release nutrients.  Fire allows diverse, native plant and animal communities to thrive in natural areas.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wet Meadow 3 - Early March Snowmelt

Ann Arbor has had a lot more snow than we've had in a few years and as it melts off in Buhr Park, it gathers in our wet meadows.

We went for a walk in the rain on Saturday and observed the water flowing in and then flowing out of Wet Meadow 3. As designed, the area collects runoff from the north of the park, private yards to the northwest, Allen School and Essex Street.

We saw seeds floating in the water and Helen went in to investigate.