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University of Iowa News Release

March 30, 2005

UI To Conduct Native Prairie Burns

The University of Iowa's grounds staff will conduct prairie burns on three prairie remnant sites along the bike trail between Hawkins Drive and Mormon Trek Blvd. during the three-week period March 31 - April 16. The exact timing of the burns will depend on favorable weather conditions.

The burns will help to eliminate some woody vegetation that is encroaching on the sites and to rid the areas of the buildup of foliage that accumulates over time, according to Shawn Fitzpatrick, grounds supervisor for UI campus shops. Grounds staff attempted to burn these same areas in December, but were not successful due to green vegetation and damp weather.

Burning is a preferred management practice over mowing, Fitzpatrick says, because more unwanted vegetation is removed and the prairie is made more vigorous by the burn. The university has obtained a permit from the Iowa City Fire Department and has consulted with UI faculty in biological sciences and with representatives of the Sierra Club.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.  

CONTACTS: Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048, charles-drum@uiowa.edu; Program: Shawn Fitzpatrick, 319-335-5107, shawn-fitzpatrick@uiowa.edu