FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: FRIENDS OF HICKORY HILL PARK
Iowa City, Iowa
C.J. Voci: 400‐4919
FIRE RETURNS TO HICKORY HILL PARK
(Iowa City, IA) After two years of site preparation, the Friends of Hickory Hill Park (FHHP) will conduct its first prescribed woodland burn on Saturday, October 29 in an area just to the northeast of the Bloomington Street entrance to the park (view full press release with map). The burn will be conducted under the direction of Liz Maas and a professional land restoration crew from Transition Ecology.
Volunteers are welcome! Register online here.
Volunteers will arrive at 9 AM at the Bloomington Street entrance to secure the surrounding area and trails. The controlled fire will begin at 10 AM and will last 4‐5 hours depending on conditions. Site monitoring will last several more hours after the fire is out. Because controlled burns require particular weather conditions (esp. wind speed and direction and humidity), a rain date has been set for Saturday, November 5th. Some of the trails will be closed to ensure the safety of the public. The burn will be a slow and low controlled fire that will not be visible from other areas of the park, through it will generate smoke.
FHHP has conducted prescribed burns in the grassland areas of the park for several years. All planning and preparation for the woodland burn has been done under the direction of land restoration professionals and the project is coordinated with Iowa City Parks Department and the Iowa City Fire Department. FHHP has secured a permit from the IC Fire Department. Prescribed woodland fires are a natural and beneficial element in the development of a healthy and thriving woodland. A prescribed burn has neither the heat nor intensity of wild forest fire and will not harm native herbaceous plants or mature trees but will help to control some invasive species that threaten the park. Fire provides additional benefits by stimulating native seeds in the ground to germinate, opening up space for sunlight, and replacing nutrients in the soil. This leads to more plant diversity, which increases the health of the forest as animal habitat.