Students Learn First-Hand Why Mother Nature Occasionally Needs a Good Fire
If you saw smoke rising from the south edge of the MRH campus Tuesday afternoon, don't worry. It was just a dramatic lesson in environmental sustainability.
The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is fortunate to have a Missouri native rain garden near Maplewood City Hall on the high school/middle school campus. The rain garden is located between the City Hall parking lot and the MRH sports field along Manchester Road and features a variety of native Missouri wildflowers and grasses that attract many birds and butterflies.
An important component of maintaining a healthy native prairie includes removing non-native, invasive plants and conducting periodic prescribed or “controlled” burns. Historically, prairies regularly experienced fire through both human and natural causes and native plants became fire tolerant. Today, controlled burns return vital nutrients to the soil and increase native seed germination. They also assist with controlling non-native species.
Maplewood Richmond Heights was issued a permit by the County of St Louis to conduct a controlled burn of the MRH prairie rain garden following Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) guidelines.
The burn was conducted by a MDC-trained Burn Boss working with district personnel in conjunction with the Maplewood Fire Department. Also on hand were students from MRH Middle School, as part of their sustainability studies.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.