Story by Abby Warren
Three City bureaus are collaborating to protect and preserve the St. Johns Prairie unit of the Baltimore Woods Natural Area.
The City Nature Division of Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), the Wildland Unit of Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R), and the Willamette Watershed Group of the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), have scheduled a prescriptive burn to take place on Friday, September 7.
The St. Johns Prairie area of Baltimore Woods Natural Area, once a thriving oak savannah, has been degraded by the encroachment of highly flammable, non-native species. This controlled burn is one of many tools that PP&R will use to restore the health of the two-acre site.
The prescriptive burn will benefit birds and wildlife, help re-establish native vegetation, and improve visitors' park experience.
Earlier this summer, Portland non-profit Depave partnered with PP&R, other City Bureaus, and community organizations to transform a two-acre parking lot into the Baltimore Woods Connectivity Corridor. What was once asphalt is now an Oregon white oak and native wildflower meadow- soon to be enhanced by this prescriptive burn.
NOTE: Due to light smoke lingering in the air, visitors are encouraged to avoid the area on the day of the burn.