Every spring, Camp Wood YMCA sets as much of our land on fire as possible. And yes, it’s on purpose. This spring tradition of burning is vital to the health and preservation of the Tallgrass Prairie that covers camp’s property in the Flint Hills. Our Outdoor Education and Events Director, Katey, created this short video to show what a prairie burn looks like. (Note: We don’t usually burn at night unless it’s absolutely necessary, but when a night burn happens, it’s especially impressive to watch the flames move across the hills!)
The video does a great job illustrating that though fire seems like a harsh treatment of the land, it actually sets the stage for improved spring growth of native grasses and flowers. The fire also kills invasive woody species, like cedars. You can see the extent of the burning at camp in the aerial photos below, taken by board member, Ivan Moore.
Want to learn more about how the Tallgrass Prairie landscape and the forces that shape it affect the camper experience? Read about the Tallgrass Prairie and Camp Wood YMCA.