Volunteers needed to help control prairie burn

Published3/11/2009 12:01 AM

The Sugar Grove United Methodist Church needs volunteers to help manage a controlled burn of three acres of prairie at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 21. The burn will take place on Harter Road, about three-fourths of a mile west of Route 47 in Sugar Grove.

The prairie has been planted and nurtured over the last six years by members of the church, scouts, and students. It's part of a 40-acre parcel that the church owns.


The Rev. Steven Good, pastor of the church, says the burn stimulates the growth of native prairie grasses and flowers and controls nonnative invasive species.

"We've planted the prairie in between the farmland and Blackberry Creek," Good said. "It acts like a kidney to filter the water that seeps through into the creek."

The church has plans to build on another portion of the 40 acres, but the prairie is dedicated open space that will not be paved over. Residents can walk down what Good calls "prayer paths" which have scripture readings or suggestions for prayer posted.

"It's an opportunity for people to appreciate creation and how it fits with their faith," Good says. "It also reminds us that this is part of our obedience to be good stewards. The earth is a gift."

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He added that the symbolism of renewal through fire fits especially well with the season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter, which is April 12, set aside for prayer and reflection.

"It can be a symbol of our spiritual journey," Good said. "Fire is a purifying symbol and we want God to purify us."

Volunteers will surround the perimeter of the burn. Those who are interested in helping should call the church at (630) 466-4501.

Accolades for Kaneland school district: Kaneland School District 302 has recently received two awards. Blackberry Creek Elementary school in Elburn received the academic excellence award from the Illinois State Board of Education. To be eligible, a school must meet or exceed state standards in reading and math for three consecutive years.

Also, the district was given the Bright Red Apple Award for educational excellence. Out of 868 school districts in Illinois, only 81 received this award. The award is based in part on standardized test scores, the student/teacher ratio, and the percentage of teachers who have master's degrees.

Join the celebration: The community is invited to help the Sugar Grove Historical Society celebrate its 25th anniversary. You can learn about the society's purpose and history at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16 at Bliss House, 259 Main St. Also, Lt. Dwight Randall of the Kane County Sheriff's department will discuss the new Kane County jail on Route 38 in St. Charles. Bliss House is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays. For information, call Ruth Frantz at (630) 466-4382.

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