In the coming weeks, visitors at Columbia Park and skiers at Columbia Golf Course may smell or see smoke from controlled burns of brush piles. The burns are scheduled to begin the week of January 18 and continue periodically through February.
This activity is part of the current project to improve stormwater management and restore habitat at the golf course and park. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) is leading construction; the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) are among the partners (see details below).
About the Brush Pile Burns
Buckthorn, honeysuckle and other woody invasive species are being cleared and gathered into brush piles; controlled burning is recommended as an efficient and effective way to manage this type of debris, reducing impacts from heavy hauling equipment.
The controlled burns will be conducted by a contractor that has obtained all required permits and notifies local municipal police and fire departments. MPRB customer service staff and the Park Police Department are also notified; signs at the site will inform park and golf course users of this activity.
About the Habitat Restoration
Later this year, cleared areas will be planted with trees and seed mix for plants that are native to the region. In all, nearly 20 acres will be restored as woodland, oak savanna and prairie habitats, enhancing the local ecosystem and aiding in stormwater management.
About the Project
The Northern Columbia Golf Course and Park Stormwater BMPs project is a joint effort to improve water quality, mitigate flooding, improve ecological systems and enhance recreational opportunities in Northeast Minneapolis, as part of the Northeast Stormwater Management Initiative. Partners include the MWMO,