On May 10, flames signaled a controlled burn at Macalester’s Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (Ordway Field Station), in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, 17 miles from campus. The college contracted with Prairie Restorations, Inc. to conduct the burn, to stimulate the growth of desired prairie flowers and grasses, remove thatch, and reduce woody plant invasion into the prairie.
“One pillar of the field station’s mission is sustainability,” says Ordway Director Jerald Dosch. “Fire serves as an important management tool that allows us to mimic some of the natural, historic forces that helped to create and maintain prairies. These controlled burns help us sustain the native diversity of our prairie ecosystems.”
Prairie Restorations, Inc., conducts these burns only under a specific set of conditions when local air temperature, wind, humidity and precipitation patterns are all within carefully chosen limits. This helps ensure a high quality burn while at the same time maximizing safety. Burn breaks were mowed to help manage the fire and the professionals used a series of small, rapid fires to burn the large area in just over an hour. Within a month the prairie was once again a lush sea of green nearly knee high.
The approximately 300-acre site was established in 1967 by Macalester College with the help of a major gift from Katharine Ordway.
July 16 2012Back to top
More Student Life News
Spring 2016 Week 15
Spring semester wrapped up with a flurry of events.
May 5 2016
Spring at Macalester
Spring has sprung! Thanks to the Mac grounds crew for making this photo gallery possible.
May 4 2016
Ball Player and Teacher
April 29 2016
April 29 2016
Portraits in Polaroid
Over a college career, a new camera leads to a remarkable photo wall.
April 18 2016
Orchestra Trip to Duluth
April 12 2016
Dancing Around Campus
Eight Macalester students bring dance to life around campus.
April 11 2016
Spring 2016 Weeks 10-11
April 6 2016
Making an Impact
Macalester was named No. 2 by Princeton Review for graduating students who make a difference.
April 1 2016
Spring Break 2016
Photos were sent to us from students as they enjoyed their week off from classes.
March 21 2016
Psychology class creates health ad campaigns directed at their fellow students.
March 16 2016
Global Citizenship Photography Contest Winners 2016
March 14 2016