Josh Ward, community conservation planner with the Missouri Department of Conservation, visits KPLR11 News at Noon to explain the differences between a wildfire and a prescribed fire.
Q. What are the benefits of prescribed fire?
• Stimulates certain plants to grow (wildflowers, forbs, etc.)
• Sets back undesirable or invasive plants (e.g. cedars on glades, woody trees on prairies)
• A great tool to help restore and maintain natural habitats
• Can even be utilized in an urban setting like Forest Park
• A great example of community conservation at work
Q. Why is community conservation so important?
• Promotes public awareness of the value of nature where they live
• Encourages use of native plants and eco-friendly practices like rain gardens
• Helps develop natural communities in urban and suburban areas
• Can provide cost-share funding to help enact conservation projects
Q. What are some advantages of having these natural communities in an urban area?
• Buffers the urban heat effects, lowering temperatures and reducing heat-related illnesses
• Filters pollutants from the air, improving air quality and reducing respiratory problems like asthma
• Absorbs storm water, reducing local flooding and improving water quality
• Increases property values
• Provides wildlife habitat and wildlife watching for residents
• Fosters a sense of community and community pride
• Improves quality of life for people