Oakland Nature Preserve is CLOSED due to a prescribed burn
Oakland Nature Center will be CLOSED this Saturday July 8th, as we are running a controlled burn behind the Education Center.
An important part of taking care of any habitat is maintaining its ecological conditions. Sandhill habitats, like the one here at Oakland Nature Preserve, are adapted to low-intensity, low-burning fires every 3-5 years. These burns stimulate vigorous growth while keeping hardwood trees from crowding out native sandhill species like the longleaf pine. Sandhill animals survive these low-intensity fires by taking cover high in the trees or underground in gopher tortoise burrows.
If too much time passes between burns, dead plant matter accumulates. Then if a fire breaks out, it has so much fuel that it burns at a high intensity, and can become a wildfire. These out-of-control fires can destroy sandhill habitats because the flames can reach high into the canopy and kill the trees. A high-intensity fire can even endanger human life.
In order to maintain the natural lifecycle of the sandhill habitat and to prevent high-intensity fires, Oakland Nature Preserve undergoes controlled burns. These burns are done only by licensed professionals and only when weather conditions are just right. Controlled burns are designed to simulate natural lightning fires, in a safe manner.
Visitor access will be restricted to the Preserve during this time, thank you for your understanding!