Prescribed burn project
One of UTM's most valuable research areas is an old field habitat which is located to the outside of outer circle road. It was noted that the old field area was becoming increasingly invaded by non-native species (such as asian honeysuckle), and was in danger of becoming a forest environment. Loss of the old field would mean loss of valuable research and habitat for species that don't thrive in forest environments.
The solution to these issues was a prescribed burn. A prescribed burn is a deliberately-set, low fire that consumes ground litter and low-growing species but doesn't harm established trees.
Two prescribed burns have taken place at the old field. Post-burn monitoring continues to ensure the health of the old field ecosystem.
"The Prescribed Burn is a well-recognized, established method of managing the preservation and enhancement of certain ecosystems, and is used scores of times each year in Canada."
- Professor Nick Collins of the Department of Biology and co-chair of the UTM/Evergreen Naturalization Steering Committee