A second prescribed burn at Chapman Pasture was conducted on March 30, 2022.
Chapman Pasture is an 8 acre field located between Silver Hill Rd and Old Winter St. Formerly grazed by livestock, it is primarily characterized by non-native grasses. Chapman Pasture is a study site in LLCT’s Lincoln Pollinator Action Plan and efforts are underway to restore native grasses and wildflowers to the meadow to create critical habitat for our native pollinator species including threatened bees and butterflies.
In May 2021, with a grant from the USFWS, LLCT conducted a prescribed burn on the pasture. Following the burn, LLCT observed increased plant diversity, including common milkweed, in the field. However, the thatch was still quite thick, so after consulting with USFWS, LLCT decided to plan another burn in 2022 before seeding the field.
In Fall 2021, LLCT planted 30 native willows and 3 bur oak seedlings in the field, clustered around existing rocky outcrops. Willows are an important source of pollen in the early spring and oaks are an important host species for many insects. By planting around the rocks, the willows will also serve as visual markers for future field mowing regimes. During the burn, the areas around these plantings will be wet down to prevent the fire from getting near the new plants.
In advance of the second burn, LLCT reviewed the existing burn plan and sought approval from the Lincoln Fire Department to conduct the burn. LLCT also communicated closely with the USFWS and the Burn Crew to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the burn.
Following this 2022 burn, LLCT will plant a cover crop on the field, and will seed the entire field in the Fall with a native wildflower seed mix. We are excited to continue the implementation of this long-term management plan for the field, which will enhance its natural beauty and biodiversity!