2018-03-15 / Front Page

Township approves prescribed burn

By Sam Tunningley
810-452-2661 • stunningley@mihomepaper.com

FLUSHING TWP. — At last month’s meeting, the Flushing Township Board of Trustees were considering a prescribed burn for a section of the Township Nature Park after hosting a presentation from David Mindell, owner of Plant Wise in Ann Arbor.

A few of the Trustees were unmoved by the idea of the burn, expressing concerns over its necessity and effectiveness.

Thursday night, Supervisor Frederick Thorsby presented the board with the Flushing Township Nature Park Land Management Plan – a document outlining tactics to keep the park flourishing, including a prairie creation project to “encourage the growth and distribution of Michigan Native Flora” while “depressing nonnative and invasive species.”

The plan, which the Trustees voted to put back into the 2015 to 2020 Flushing Area Recreational Plan after an older version expired in 2015, notes the prairie burn as an essential component to park maintenance. Thorsby said a few individuals on the park committee were not aware of the plan’s existence.

Thorsby said the township is going to act quickly to set the burn in motion. The last approved burn was in 2015, before the new board was voted in, despite a recommendation in the management plan it be conducted as a rotating yearly process.

“We’re going to set it up right now,” said Thorsby. “It needs to be done in the spring.”

The area scheduled for the burn was last treated in 2014. Since 2008, there have been gaps in the park’s burn history, including no scheduled burns from 2011- 2013.

According to the quote produced by Plant Wise, the Flushing Township Nature Park staff is responsible for “contacting neighbors regarding intentions to burn in the spring” and ensuring the paths in the park are properly mowed. Mindell said, following the ecological burn, the plants will take one to three weeks to begin blooming.

The burn will cover 45 acres and cost a total of $4,150. Last month, Mindell said the process is essential for eliminating invasive species.

“If we were to pull human intervention out now…the biological diversity of the site is going to plummet,” said David Mindell.

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