Campus Life

Arboretum postpones prescribed burn planned for March 27-30 due to weather

The 12-acre burn site, circled in red, is located near the intersection of Big Hollow and Tower roads in College Township. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Editor's note: Due to changes in the weather forecast, the prescribed fire originally scheduled to be conducted between Tuesday, March 27, and Friday, March 30, at the Arboretum has been canceled. Humid, rainy weather is now expected to arrive during the early afternoon hours on Tuesday and remain throughout the rest of the week. As the spring progresses, the Arboretum will continue to monitor the weather for upcoming opportunities to complete the prescribed fire. Updates will be provided accordingly. 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Arboretum at Penn State, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, will conduct a prescribed burn on a 12-acre portion of the Arboretum site between March 27 and March 30.

The operation will take place within a single workday, most likely on Tuesday, March 27. A pre-burn notice will be issued 24 hours before the beginning of the operation. Due to the fact that scheduling depends upon favorable weather conditions, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact operation date more than several days in advance.

The burn site will be located in College Township near Big Hollow and Tower roads. The prescribed burn is being conducted as part of the Arboretum’s ongoing prairie restoration project, through which an old livestock pasture is being converted into a more species-diverse meadow or “prairie patch” containing native grasses and wildflowers. Periodic fire is an essential tool for this type of ecological restoration.

This spring’s prescribed fire will be the third such operation the Arboretum has carried out with The Nature Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The burn will be conducted in accordance with the Pennsylvania Prescribed Burning Practices Act and associated prescribed fire standards.

Last Updated March 26, 2018