A short but successful prairie burn season

Assistant Resource Manager

Video of prescribed burn at W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna (Video Liz Christian)

The Metro Parks prescribed fire team was able to complete three days of burning this spring. On our first day, we successfully burned the W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna. Almost all 20 acres were burned to assist with invasive control and the health of the prairie plants.

The W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna is dotted with old-growth bur oaks, about 350 years old, and contains one of Ohio’s largest stands of prairie dropseed grass, along with other native prairie plants such as prairie violets and Bicknell’s sedge, a grass-like prairie plant that can grow more than 2 feet tall. Metro Parks has owned and managed the site since 2005. It was named after William Pearl King, a former owner of the site. In 2020, the W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna was dedicated as a state nature preserve. It is recognized as the best example of an oak savanna habitat left in the old Darby Plains.

The fire team completed two additional days of burns at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, which added up to almost 100 acres. Waiting for the right burn conditions takes patience. The prescribed fire managers look for the appropriate air temperature, wind speed and direction and humidity to align with our burn prescriptions for each site. We hope to burn again this fall!

One of the Metro Parks fire team members controls the fire spread on a prescribed burn at the the W. Pearl King Prairie Savanna. Photo Liz Christian