April 25, 2022
To the Fishers Island Community,
Fishers Island Conservancy’s rite of spring is the annual prescribed burn at the Ft. Wright Parade Grounds, a critical step in maintaining restored grasslands. Although the burn is the Conservancy’s initiative, Fishers Island Fire Department (FIFD) volunteers deserve all the credit.
Thank you to Chief Jeff Edwards and his crew, who on March 22 worked with the utmost professionalism and extraordinary attention to detail. For those of us lucky enough to witness this spectacle, the coordination and choreography of the burn was something to behold.
Under ideal wind and weather conditions, the burn began with a little smoke that quickly turned into a conflagration rapidly consuming its prescribed area. Then, almost as soon as it started, it was over, leaving only a few whiffs of smoke and utter calm.
To maintain the Parade Grounds’ restored grasslands, it is necessary to clear out woody and invasive plant species before they grow too large. The burn not only achieves this but also releases nitrogen into the soil giving our native grasses just the spring boost they need.
Weather permitting, FIFD burns a different third of the area each year, leaving two-thirds of habitat intact for animals. As we can all see, the burn greens up quickly providing the needed cover and sustenance for emerging invertebrates and the returning migratory birds that depend on them for food.
So, our great thanks go to the FIFD volunteers. The Conservancy could not carry out our mission on the Parade Grounds without all of you.
President, Fishers Island Conservancy
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