Prairie burn gives lesson in good stewardship

By on March 12, 2010

Photo: The Rev. Steve Good’s son, Spenser, keeps the fire at bay during the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church’s prairie burn, which took place on the church’s new building site on Harter Road last Saturday. Photo by Susan O’Neill

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Members of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church and others experienced a first-hand lesson in caring for God’s creation when they participated in a prairie burn on Saturday.

The Rev. Steven Good said that burning the prairie on land that will house the church’s future building not only has an ecological benefit, it encourages people of faith to act as good stewards of God’s earth.

The controlled prairie burn gets rid of old plant material, allowing the sunlight to reach the native plants and warm the soil, helping them to compete with the weeds, Good said. The denser native plants provide a habitat for local wildlife, where they can rest, hide and eat.

The longer root system of the native plants also helps to filter out chemicals, cleaning the water on its way to the Blackberry Creek, also located on the property, he added.

Nearly 30 people, including a number of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, joined Good and his parishioners to help with the sixth annual burn at the church’s new future site on Harter Road.

“We got the job done and everybody was safe,” Good said.