Niagara Parks gets ready to (carefully) torch some of its real estate

By

Published March 28, 2023 at 11:20 am

Since the prescribed burn management came into practice for the group 15 years ago, Niagara Parks has used it to restore 150 acres of native prairie and savannah habitat. (Photo: Niagara Parks)

It sounds like the work of arsonists, pyromaniacs or maybe even anarchists but Niagara Parks is about to engage in their own special ‘scorched earth’ protocol.

That makes it sound far worse than it is in reality, of course. Niagara Parks’ annual prescribed burn program is actually a practice that acts “as an effective tool to manage natural areas.”

“Fire helps control the spread of invasive species, encourages the germination of dormant native seeds within the soil, and returns important nutrients back into the earth,” said Niagara Parks. “These native grasslands are dependent on fire as a management and maintenance strategy.”

Indeed, since the prescribed burn management came into practice for the group 15 years ago, Niagara Parks has used it to restore 150 acres of native prairie and savannah habitat.

This year’s has already begun and will continue through to May. “The first successful burn of the season took place on March 22 at Whirlpool Golf Course,” the group reported, adding that future dates are determined based on weather and atmospheric conditions, with burns starting in the late morning and fully extinguished by late afternoon.

“Prescribed burns encourage the regeneration of native prairie grasses and plants, returning nutrients back to the soil while reducing invasive and non-native species that threaten biodiversity.”

The following area have been earmarked for the 2023 prescribed burn program:

  • Chippawa Battlefield, South Plain: Located by Edgeworth Road, Niagara Falls;
  • Niagara Parks Legacy Prairie Garden: Located adjacent to the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens;
  • Paradise Grove: Located at the corner of John Street and the Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake;
  • Chinquapin Oak Savannah (West and East): Located northeast of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens;
  • Whirlpool Slope: Located across from the Whirlpool Golf Course parking lot;
  • Centennial Lilac Garden: Located across from the Floral Clock;
  • Whirlpool Golf Course.
INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising