Friends of Malcomson Eco-Park and the city of St. Catharines are planning a controlled burn at Malcomson Eco-Park in St. Catharines in April.
The burn will “safely and naturally” reduce invasive species and promote the growth of native grasses in the area, said a St. Catharines news release.
Targeted invasive species include common buckthorn, poplar and sumac, which literally overshadow native plants in the grassland area of the park.
The burn will take between April 6 and 13, when weather conditions are ideal and is expected to take four to six hours to complete.
Ideally, the plume of smoke from the controlled burn will rise straight up without impacting properties in the area of the park.
“However, the weather can be unpredictable and changing conditions could lead to smoke reaching nearby properties. Anyone in the area of the park, including schools, should keep windows, doors, chimney flues and other openings in the home closed during the controlled burn as a precaution,” said the release.
The city advises anyone with a sensitivity to smoke to stay indoors during the burn, at which time the grassland area of the park will be closed to the public.
Notices will be posted at park entrances and delivered to residents in the vicinity of the park, as well as on the city’s social media and online at stcatharines.ca.
City staff was not available Easter Monday to comment on the impact the burn will have on wildlife.
A controlled burn can only be done with a permit in accordance with the city's open air burning by-law.