The Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is in the process of removing weeds and other invasive plants. 

About a quarter to half a mile from the entrance in the center of the property, they did a controlled burn. They burned five acres in order to remove some of the invasive plants in early March.

For thousands of year, farmers and Native Americans used fire as a tool to rejuvenate land.

Tish Gailmard, the Director of Wildlife at Riding Reflection said,"there's different types of grasses that we don't want growing. By eliminating them, it does make room for the warm season grasses."

Two weeks ago, the soil was black. Due to mild temperatures and rain, grass is sprouting up quickly. 

Gailmard added, "some trees actually need heat to germinate their seeds, and I think a lot of people don't think about that, so the controlled burn will not only remove some non-natives but will help generate natives."

According to, pine cones can stay on a tree up to 10 years. Seeds for new pine trees grow under the scales of pine cones. The scales protect the seeds from bad weather and animals. Eventually, though, the seeds need to be released. 

The scales will stay tightly closed when it's cold and damp, and in contrast, when it's hot and dry, the seeds have an easier time finding good soil for trees. The scales will open, allowing seeds to escape and drift away to find new ground. 

Reflection Riding told Channel 3, there should be more native plants here sprouting over the next few years, which means there will be more variety.

The Nature Center is in the process over the next five weeks of burning the privet plant. They are asking volunteers to help burn pre-cut brushes. This will occur every Wednesday from 4-7pm. They hope the privet will be gone by Earth Day, April 22nd.

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