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Notice of Ankeny Park Property Prescribed Burns

Post Date:03/09/2018

March 13 Update: Prescribed burning is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 15-16, in the Woodland Reserve area if weather conditions allow.
View Woodland Reserve - Middle Map
View Woodland Reserve - East Map

ANKENY, IA (March 9, 2018) Ankeny Parks & Recreation will begin conducting controlled burns periodically throughout several Ankeny parks beginning the week of March 12 and continuing through April 14. Weather conditions and safety considerations will determine the exact date and time of the fire. Notifications of the burn locations will be shared on the City of Ankeny website, Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor accounts.

The prescribed burns will be administered by certified park staff. The public should avoid parks on the day that they are scheduled to be burned. It is expected that the areas will take less than a day to a few days each to burn. The burns have to be completed when there is less than 10 mph wind in order to keep smoke from traveling far. The burns also take place between sunrise and sunset. The Ankeny Fire Department, Polk County Dispatch and Polk County Air Quality will be notified of the planned burns in advance.

What is a prescribed burn?
Controlled burning is any fire intentionally ignited to meet specific land management objectives. The Parks Department uses prescribed burning as a natural management tool in the native seeded areas in the parks.

Why do we perform prescribed burns?
Central Iowa’s landscape was once dominated by tall grass prairies. These ecosystems have an abundance of plants, insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. The native grasses and forbs (flowers) also provide seed and nectar for insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals. In nature, fire is essential to maintain the integrity of the native prairie plant species located in our parks. Fire is a natural occurrence that helps the plant and animal communities in a park and controlled burning offers a safer way to use fire in a helpful manner. The benefits of prescribed burns includes the following:

  • Aid in reducing the undesirable plants from invading our native prairie areas
  • Help to maintain a rich diversity of wildflowers and grasses
  • Decreases the threat of wildfires by decreasing the accumulation of combustibles
  • Benefits water quality by aiding in the establishment of deep-rooted natives
  • Improves the natural beauty and enjoyment of our parks

For more information about controlled burns in Ankeny city parks, contact Todd Schenck, Parks and Facilities Administrator at or (515) 963-3578.