This is the first time I have heard of a golf course using prescribed fire, but the Blaine’s TPC course near Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota did last week.
From the Star-Tribune:
“It’s done to promote growth,” (TPC general manager Alan Cull) said. “It will help eradicate a lot of the unfriendly species you don’t want to have in there.”
Later in the season, the burned areas will be flush with 2- to 3-foot native grasses and wildflowers, tall fescue, switchgrass, red fescue, little bluegrass. And the natural areas, about 10 acres of the 250-acre course, will offer haven to wild turkey, deer, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, osprey, raccoon, fox and deer … oh, and probably lost golf balls, too.
The use of native plants and the storm drainage ponds to reduce water and chemical use are part of a larger philosophy at TPC to minimize its environmental impact and encourage ecological diversity.
Let’s be clear. The golf course was burning off undesirable plants with help from professionals from Prairie Restoration, a Princeton-based native landscaping firm, and with the blessing of both the Department of Natural Resources and the Blaine fire marshal.
“This is not something just anybody can do,” said Prairie Restoration land management coordinator Justin Sykora. His company has worked two years on the spaces at TPC; this burn was planned last fall.
Blaine Fire Marshal Bob Fiske said he approved this spring’s burn based on last year’s plan. There’s more to it than it appears, he said, from wind speed and direction to recent rainfall, and any factor out of place can mean a postponed burn.
In the photo above, at least the two people have on what appear to be Nomex shirts, which is more PPE than some students at Knox College in Illinois used last year (below). Wildfire Today covered that story HERE.
I wonder where he got those cool safety glasses?