Prescribed Burn Planned
for Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The ODCMG will be conducting a
prescribed burn in conjunction with other efforts to continue improving
wildlife habitat and sediment capture within the Macatawa Marsh.
PlantWise LLC from Ann Arbor has been
contracted to manage the prescribed burn. PlantWise, a highly respected
organization in the field of ecological restoration, has conducted prescribed
fires throughout the State including burns for the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources, Zeeland Public Schools, Herman Miller Inc., ODCMG, and many
The focus of the prescribed fire is to
combat non-native species such as Phragmites, Purple Loosestrife and Reed Canary
grass. The plants decrease the
biodiversity of the marsh and reduce the water filtration and floodplain
effectiveness of the wetland area. The spring prescribed fire has a more
dramatic result on these species as their growing season begins earlier than
the native species of plants in the marsh keeping the burn from eliminating the
species that are more desirable vegetation for the habitat. Removing the non-native species with the aid
of a prescribed fire will allow these areas to be reclaimed by native plants
and will improve the function of the marsh as a river filter.
The goal of the prescribed fire is to
restore a natural balance to the marsh that not only benefits the wildlife that
inhabits it, but also the people who enjoy recreational activities on the river
and those who live downstream from the marsh.
The burn team is working with the City
of Holland, Holland Township, Holland Fire Department, Department of Natural
Resources, and the ODCMG staff to insure that the burn is conducted
If you would like to learn more about
the burn plans please contact Dougg Wright at the Outdoor Discovery Center
Macatawa Greenway at 616-393-9453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.