Saint Paul Parks and Recreation utilizes prescribed burning as a tool
to manage natural areas throughout the city. Fire is a natural and
healthy part of many Minnesota ecosystems and prescribed burning is way
to improve a site’s ecological function.
Prescribed burning promotes healthy and stable ecosystems. Fires
reduce the buildup of dead vegetation, recycle nutrients back into the
soil, and act as an efficient and cost-effective way to control invasive
species. Reducing invasive species and promoting rigorous native plant
growth is critical to maintaining a suitable habitat for Saint Paul’s
Environmental Services staff members determine locations for burning based on
ecological need. Once a site has been selected, staff members draft a burn plan
for review by Saint Paul Fire and Safety and the Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources. After the burn plan is approved, Environmental Services can initiate the prescribed burn when weather and other
conditions are favorable for a safe and well-controlled fire.
Environmental Services staff members also receive fire training from the
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to responsibly perform
prescribed burns. Depending on the complexity and size of the site, there
may be anywhere from two to five trained staff members present to supervise the burn and to
educate park visitors on the site-specific benefits of Saint Paul Parks
and Recreation's burn program.