Page last updated on November 7, 2022 at 11:03 am
Steve Cotter, Natural Resources Manager, Parks and Recreation, [email protected] or 812-349-3736
Bloomington, Ind.—Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department natural resource managers are planning a 5.5-acre prescribed burn on Nov. 9 at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, in the forest north of the boathouse parking area east of Headley Road.
Additionally, in its continuing efforts to improve plant and habitat diversity, deer hunts are scheduled to take place at Griffy Lake Nov. 12 and 13, and Nov. 19 and 20.
The prescribed burn will take place depending on weather conditions and moisture levels necessary for safe and successful completion of the burn. Griffy Lake Nature Preserve will remain open during the prescribed burn, but the Nature Trail and Hiking Trail will be closed during, and for at least one day after, the prescribed burn.
The burn is prescribed to allow more sunlight to reach the forest floor to create better conditions for regeneration of oak and hickory trees, which are currently being shaded out by other species. According to Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department natural resources manager Steve Cotter, restoration of native oak and hickory forest is desirable for the increased habitat diversity it brings, especially for insects, birds, understory plants, spring ephemerals, and reptiles.
Bloomington Parks and Recreation has contracted with Habitat Solutions Wildlife and Forest Management to conduct the burn. Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Bloomington Fire Department, who will provide additional fire suppression support during the burn.
According to Cotter, prescribed fire is an effective tool for managing hardwood forest ecosystems. The low-intensity ground fire will remove invasive and other undesirable plant species, recycle nutrients, and increase habitat diversity. In addition to the benefits for the ecosystem, prescribed fire is also effective in reducing the risk of large wildland fires.
Cotter also indicated the goal of the deer hunts is to remove enough deer from the nature preserve to reduce deer browse pressure on understory plants and seedling trees to the point that these species are able to recover, and to continue reproducing within the preserve.
The entire Griffy Lake Nature Preserve property will be closed during the deer hunt weekends (Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 19-20), beginning at 11 p.m. the Friday before the hunt through 5 a.m. the Monday after the hunt. Only hunters who applied and were selected to participate in the hunt are permitted to hunt at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. The nature preserve remains closed to public hunting.
For updated information, follow the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook or call the Parks and Recreation office at 812-349-3700.
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