WSC member Alex, performing a controlled prairie burn.

My Name is Alex, and I’m an AmeriCorps member serving at the Center for Natural Lands Management in Olympia through the Washington Service Corps. Over 90% of historical Washington prairie ecosystems have been lost. In my position, I work to restore Washington’s remaining prairie lands and protect them against invasive species encroachment.

This quarter of my term was all about fire. A great strategy for invasive species removal and native species recruitment is to burn a section of prairie. I spent my time cutting fire line and mowing burn breaks in preparation for prescribed burns on the prairies. Once things were dry enough and conditions were safe, we got to burn large sections of the prairie in the name of restoration! 

Fire ecology and restoration has always been a passion of mine and it was amazing to get to serve at a place where I could learn more about restorative fire practices and put what I have learned to use! My service term has been amazing – I have learned and done so much with restoring Washington prairies and had a great time doing it!