The ground around the western end of campus will be going green soon, nurtured by the College’s first controlled burn.
On March 30, with the campus still quiet during the last days of spring break, a small crew from an ecological restoration company set controlled fires to areas around the West Hall parking lot and the west side of Stanger Hall, where native prairie plants grow.
Controlled fires safely reduce excessive amounts of brush and shrubs, destroy weeds and encourage seed germination, flowering and resprouting of native vegetation.
Starting in a northwest corner of the area to be burned, the crew slowly burned back the vegetation along the back of the parking areas, working against the wind. For the most part the flames stayed low, except in a few spots where the wind picked up, said Paul Hack, grounds and maintenance supervisor for the College.
Elmhurst fire officials were notified at the start of the prescribed fire and again at the end, once it was completely struck. The whole process took about four and a half hours, Hack said. Another burn in the area may be needed in a few years.