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Outdoor Discovery Center hopes for good weather for Marsh burn | Environment

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Outdoor Discovery Center hopes for good weather for Marsh burn
Outdoor Discovery Center hopes for good weather for Marsh burn

Holland, Michigan - Plans to conduct a prescribed burn at the Macatawa Marsh this month have been put off because of recent rainy weather.

Earlier this month, the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway announced the next phase of habitat improvements in the Macatawa Marsh included the burn which would get rid of invasive grass species.

An Ann Arbor company has been contracted to do the work. The same company has conducted prescribed burns throughout Michigan including burns for the Michigan DNR, Zeeland Public Schools and more.

The fire would combat non-native species including Phragmites, Purple Loosestrife and Reed Canary grass, all of which has a growing season that begins earlier than the native species of plants in the marsh. The ODCMG says the fire will let the native plants reclaim the area and improve the function of the marsh as a river filter.

The goal is to restore a natural balance to the marsh that not only benefits the wildlife living there, but the people who enjoy recreational activities on the river and those who live downstream from the marsh.

Travis Williams, Executive Director of the Outdoor Discovery Center, says they need a westerly wind and a low humidity level in order to have an effective fire. After the rain finally stops, Williams says it could take about two days for the vegetation to dry out.

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