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WIU Physical Plant Enhances Campus Landscape Through Prescribed Burns

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

Prescribed burns come highly recommended by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), advocating for their execution between the dates of October 1 and April 30. WIU applies for its open burn permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) 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. Playing 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.

The Physical Plant employees at WIU remain committed to sustainable practices toward enhancing the campus environment for the benefit of the University community and the surrounding ecosystem. With nearly four acres worth of vegetation, the Landscape Maintenance team completes this each year.

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