Burns Prairie

Posted on August 8, 2022

by Isaac Smith

Michigan’s lower peninsula used to contain tens of thousands of acres of mesic (moist) prairie. Now only 2% remains. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory even advises those looking for mesic prairies to look “along railroad tracks and adjacent to cemeteries” because “no remaining sites occur on lands accessible to the public”. Instead of wandering around train tracks or braving a paranormal experience to enjoy a mesic prairie, one could visit Burns Prairie Preserve. Unfortunately the prairie is not naturally occurring, but it has been restored to mimic the original mesic prairies in this area. The 12 acre property was originally donated to Chikaming Open Lands in 2012 by Lloyd and Pat Burns. It expanded in 2019 and 2020 when Chikaming Open Lands purchased an additional 26 acres. Since then the prairie has had time to develop and mature. Burns Prairie is a small but important step in the quest to restore Michigan prairies.