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. 


See more photos on Flickr

About the Author

Picture of Anna Rosales-Crone

Anna Rosales-Crone

Anna Rosales-Crone was hired as Communications Coordinator in May of 2015 to help build park awareness through public relations and marketing. She will also support managing The Parklands brand, website and social media. She comes to us from the American Red Cross where she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for a year, promoting disaster preparedness. Following her year of service, she was hired as the chapter’s Communications Associate, growing the Louisville Area Chapter’s digital and social media presence while supporting public relations and marketing efforts. She 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 reading, baking, dancing, going to concerts and hanging out with her two cats. Contact me about: media relations, speaker requests, photo requests, website and social media.

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