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Prairie Burn planned at Shawnee Mission park On Wednesday
POSTED: 10/21/2003
 
As part of prairie management efforts, officials plan to burn a three-acre prairie remnant at Shawnee Mission Park on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The burn is expected to begin at approximately 9 a.m. at the Ogg Road Prairie, located within Shawnee Mission Park, 7700 Renner Road, Shawnee. Specifically, the prairie is north and west of the intersection of the park's Barkley Drive and Ogg Road on the north side of the lake.

Park Manager Grant Evans said park staff aim to burn the park's prairie area about once every three years.

"It helps remove some of the older vegetation, opens the ground up for new seeds, and it helps control the invasion of woody vegetation," he explained. "Fire is a naturally-occurring management tool."

Wednesday's burn, Evans said, is followup to two workdays conducted earlier this year at the site in conjunction with Kansas City Wildlands. During those workdays, volunteers helped remove trees and woody growth which choke out sun-loving prairie plants.

While some agencies conduct prairie burns in the spring, Evans sites research which found fall burns are beneficial to prairie herbs and flowers while spring burns help promote native gasses.

The Ogg Road Prairie is considered rich in species, as evidence by a 1987 survey conducted by the Kansas Wildflower Society which found move than 120 species at the site excluding grasses and woody plants.

In addition to the maintenance staff of Shawnee Mission Park, Grant said he also anticipates officials from Kansas City Wildlands, local fire departments, and the Missouri Department of Conservation will be on hand for the burn.

For more information, contact Park Manager Grant Evans at (913) 888-4713.

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