Grounds Management, Maintenance and Operations

WIU Facilities Management Team Conducts Open Burns to Boost Campus Landscape

The facilities management team at Western Illinois University (WIU) has recently taken on several campus projects geared toward enhancing the overall landscape of the university grounds. As part of this initiative, the team completed open burns, or prescribed burns, recognized as an effective method for planned land management.

Courtesy: WIU

Prescribed burns come highly recommended by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, advocating for their execution between Oct. 1 and April 30. With nearly four acres’ worth of vegetation, WIU applies for its open burn permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency each fall to conduct the burn during Spring Break annually.

The primary objective behind these prescribed burns is the management of wild prairie grasses. Research supports the benefits of prescribed burns, revealing that they stimulate flowering and pollination post-spring burns and play a crucial role in conserving diversity in native plants while effectively managing prairies. They reduce shade, influence soil conditions, and enhance seed production, contributing significantly to the ecosystem’s health.

According to WIU, its facilities management team remains committed to sustainable practices toward enhancing the campus environment for the benefit of the university community and the surrounding ecosystem.

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