"...To make a prairie, it takes a bee.
A bee and reverie.
The reverie alone will do if bees are few."
Please read before asking Prairie Smoke for burn assistance!
Everyone benefits from healthy prairies that clean our water and air and nourish our precious soil, and from the name, you might guess that Prairie Smoke (PS) loves and values prairies. Because of that appreciation, our group wants to help others to learn about and value prairies as well.
To that end, our group is willing to offer advice, encouragement, and helpful local and regional references to all who are interested, whether they are members or not. We offer field trips, programs on starting a prairie and maintaining it, plant ID, the importance of helpful insects, dealing with invasive species and so on, as well as resource lists of information and assistance. We also join other like-minded groups in presentations at events that celebrate the outdoors and seek to educate people about environmental health and habitat issues such as water and soil quality.
For those who choose to become involved as active members of PS (see definition below), we offer other perks, such as burn equipment and volunteer assistance with your burn.
For those who do not wish to become active members, our burn packet with all the forms and advice you need is available on our website at: prairiesmokemn.org but we cannot offer volunteers or equipment.
To further help you, here are links to commercial contractors that will do your burns for a cost:
What does being an "active member" mean? Due to burdensome liability and equipment upkeep issues, we must require a certain amount of "sweat equity." We can no longer afford to assist anyone who simply pays us a $25 membership at the time of their burn, but is unwilling to otherwise assist the group and allows their membership to lapse after their burn.
Active members are those who fulfill the following criteria:
- Have paid their dues and are in good standing for at least one year prior to their burn
- Have attended a PS sanctioned burn class and assisted with at least one PS burn
- Have offered to help on at least one field trip or program
- Are willing to help with at least one PS event and outreach effort.
We realize that not everyone is able or willing to assist at burns, usually due to health issues, but there are many other ways to help PS promote prairies. Volunteering at events, recruiting speakers or leading field trips, or volunteering to maintain a little "pocket prairie" for your City park, church or school are just a few of the ways members can help promote and encourage prairies.
We hope this answers your questions, and look forward to meeting you as an active member!
Detailed information about organizing your spring burn can be found below. Open the Burn Packet and read it thoroughly. It includes directions for organizing your burn.
It is very important for all landowners who are using Prairie Smoke equipment and/or volunteers to:
- Be members of Prairie Smoke in good standing
- Have participated in a class/training on controlled burns or obtain the assistance of a qualified "Burn Boss" who is a Prairie Smoke member.
- Fill out the Liability Waiver and return it before your scheduled burn
- Prepare your Fire Breaks
- Complete a Burn Plan (which needs to be signed by the Burn Boss and submitted to the Prairie Smoke President before your scheduled burn).
- Set a Date and Reserve the Equipment
- Obtain your Burn Permit
- Contact Volunteers as soon as possible (volunteer list can be found below)
VOLUNTEERS: Please check the information that is included on the list. If correct, you do not have to do anything. If incorrect, please send corrections to Barb Nigon. Anyone wishing to be added to the list can send Barb the necessary information and she'll add you to the list.
The directions for doing all of these things can be found in the Prairie Smoke Burn Packet. Please read it thoroughly. Send any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though snow is still on the ground, prescribed burning season is just around the corner (typically people burn their prairies in April or very-early May). So, this is the time to start planning for your spring burn.