Prescription for Biodiversity
Achieving wellness is pretty simple---it comes down to maintaining a balance. Supplying our bodies with the appropriate nutrients---eating healthy, getting enough water, exercise, and visiting a doctor for a prescription when you are sick, will help you stay well.
The landscape is not that much different in its needs. It too, needs to achieve a balance and this is best done by appropriate amounts of soil nutrients, light, and moisture for growth. If the ecosystem has become unbalanced due to invasive plants taking up soil nutrients, sunlight and moisture, as well as other reasons, then, a wellness plan and a prescription “burn” may be needed.
Metroparks uses prescribed burns to renew oak savannas and prairies, and to control invasive, non-native shrubs. By keeping these weedy species in check, habitats no longer are “choked” by dense shade or covered by too much leaf litter. Wherever the natural landscape has been protected or restored, such as Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, the careful use of prescribed fire has significantly improved natural biodiversity. Wildlife depends upon habitats managed by fire.