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Crews manage a controlled fire to burn a native prairie restoration at the Bloomington water treatment plant.

Prescribed burning in Bloomington, 2019

Starting in mid-April, the Bloomington Park Maintenance Division, Bloomington Fire Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin their third season of working together through prescribed burning to restore native prairies, wetlands and park landscapes within the City of Bloomington.

Prescribed burns do a lot of good. They:

  • Remove built-up thatch material and weed seeds.
  • Invigorate new growth and seeding of desirable native plants, trees and wildflowers.
  • Help control invasive tree and shrub species that threaten the native ecosystem.
  • Minimize the spread of pest insects and disease.
  • Improve habitat for threatened and endangered species.
  • Reduce hazardous fuels, helping to protect human communities from extreme fires.

Prescribed burn plan

The Park Maintenance Division has developed a three- to five-year burn rotation plan that encompasses park areas in Bloomington that meet the prescribed burn requirements and restrictions established by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, state legislation and City ordinance. All applicable burn plans, approvals and permits will be acquired before any burning takes place. Staff will complete any site preparations necessary to insure a safe and efficient process. Preparations will involve reducing vegetation through mowing, weed whipping, or raking around sensitive areas like trees, fences, and other structural components.

The safety of residents and staff is our first priority. Our burn plan addresses this priority and insures that we minimize any negative impact to residents. Traffic safety, weather conditions, equipment and qualified staffing availability are all considered before deciding to begin a prescribed burn.

2019 Locations

We have identified the following as top-priority locations for 2019.

  1. Nine Mile School – 108th Street and Morgan Avenue.
  2. Bill Warren Park – Bloomington Ferry Road and Pioneer Trail.
  3. Civic Plaza and Public Works – south sides of these buildings.
  4. Dwan Golf Course.
  5. Girard Park – France between 84th Street and Shepherd Hills Road.
  6. Marsh Park East – Ice Gardens.
  7. Marsh Park North – France and 94th Street.
  8. Nord Myr – Normandale Blvd and 91st Street.
  9. Pond C – Along Hwy 77 south of Old Shakopee Road.
  10. Gideon Pond House.
  11. Scofield Meadow – 106th Street and Humboldt Avenue.
  12. Tarnhill Park – 98th Street and Rich Road.

Our goal, weather permitting, is to complete these burns between April 15 and May 31.

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This map shows the prescribed burn locations proposed for 2019.

Notification of staff and residents

The burn team will notify the following stakeholders of the prescribed burns.

  • City staff on the days and times the burns will be conducted once established.
  • Bloomington Police Dispatch prior to the start of each prescribed burn.
  • Residents of the areas around the prescribed burns prior to the start of the first prescribed burn.

Notifications will be provided as follows.

  • Website: Announcements on the City, Fire Department, Parks and Recreation and Public Works webpages.
  • Door to door: Staff will visit the doors of residents adjacent to each burn area on the day of the burn.
  • Traffic signs: Traffic signs and other devices will be posted in the area(s) on the day of the burn, to notify residents traveling through the area that prescribed burns will be conducted.

We are excited to start this collaborative process to continue to build a strong, sustainable and eco-friendly park system within the City of Bloomington.