Controlled burns set to begin in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County parks

Controlled burns set to begin in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County parks

ANN ARBOR, MI — The City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County will begin controlled burns in local natural areas this month.

The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation and Washtenaw County have collaborated with city and township fire marshals to develop plans for their burns from Feb. 17 through May 26.

The controlled burns support the Ann Arbor area’s fire-dependent ecosystems by minimizing the presence of invasive species, allowing plants native to the area to thrive and promoting rapid new plant growth, officials have said.

Similar templates for burn plans are used by the city and the county, with each team working to minimize smoke and strategize how to best contain the fires, according to Harry Sheehan, Washtenaw County’s chief deputy water resources commissioner,

Both teams plan to conduct their burns on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. but must closely monitor weather conditions before proceeding with each burning day.

“There could be only a handful of good burn days,” Sheehan said, regarding the county’s approach to working within the February through May time period. He said that the team must survey wind, humidity and rain before moving forward with each day of fires.

Sheehan said that the controlled burns in the spring beat the dry summer heart, making the fires harder to control.

The county has contracted with PlantWise, LLC to perform its burns and will focus efforts on rain gardens and stormwater runoff from public roads.

Controlled burns are scheduled for Arbor Oaks rain gardens, Belize Park rain garden, Kingsley and First Street rain garden, Garden Homes rain garden at Miller Avenue and Franklin Street, Veteran Park rain gardens near Dexter Avenue and Maple and Jackson Road, West Park stormwater basins and the rain gardens within the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The City of Ann Arbor is focusing on prairie grasslands, with burns at Arbor Hills Nature Area, Argo Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, Buhr Park, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Dolph Nature Area, Folkstone Park, Furstenberg Nature Area, Hansen Nature Area, Huron Hills Golf Course Woods, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Mary Beth Doyle Park, Miller Nature Area, Oakwoods Nature Area, Redbud Nature Area, Ruthven Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, West Park and the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive.

Visit for more information on county plans and for more information on the city’s plans.

Read more from The Ann Arbor News:

Regents approve at least $490M for new University of Michigan residence complex

Busy road on Ann Arbor’s east side will be reduced to one lane for construction

Here’s where to get paczki in Washtenaw County for Fat Tuesday


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