By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Prairie grass at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds has been cleared through prescribed burning.

The Grand Island Independent (https://bit.ly/1Hki3IC ) reports that Dave Carr, the prescribed burn coordinator for the Central Platte Natural Resources District, burned grass at the fair grounds on Tuesday. Prescribed burns are conducted to kill non-native cool-weather grasses while promoting the growth of native prairie grasses, flowers and plants.

Carr says the cool-weather grasses usually have roots that extend only a few inches into the soil, which means they are not drought-resistant.

Milt Moravek, retired NRD assistant manager, says that even though the native grass area at the fairgrounds are blackened now, “in three weeks, you won’t even be able to tell this area was burned. It will be all green.”

Carr says native grasses make excellent habitats for birds, which can roost in the tall stems as they look for insects to eat. He also says the native grasses make good cover for small wildlife species. He says the warm-weather grass, some of which have roots that can reach 3 to 4 feet deep, may not see significant growth until May 1.



The coordinator says Tuesday’s prescribed burn was requested by the Groundwater Guardians, which received grants to help develop the native grass area known as the Outdoor Learning Center.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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