Watch: Planned burn at Moline’s Prospect Park aims to stop invasive plants

MOLINE, Illinois -- A controlled burn is what the city ordered to stop some invasive species from taking over at Prospect Park.

A crew, made up of Moline's Parks and Recreation Department staff as well as members of the Illiniwek Forest Preserve were on site to conduct the burn. The burn started around noon Wednesday, March 21st, and singed two areas at the park.

First was the hillside between the park's pavilion and the Quad Cities Music Guild building. Next was the grassy area circling the pond.

Park Operations Manager Greg Johnson said reed canary grass had been invading native species around the pond.

"Reed canary grass multiplies and it's very tough to kill it," said Johnson. "It almost overtakes some of the native species."

Burning it gives the native plants a fighting chance.

Johnson said some of the crew had never done a controlled burn before, so they used the experience as an educational tool.

"We kind of want to make it educational as well, so as we do the burn - some of us haven't done a burn - we want to make sure that we're educating: why we're doing it, how we're doing it, and try to use fire as one of our friends," he said.

They used drop torches to ignite the flames, which were fueled with a mixture of Diesel and gasoline.

Along with staff from the City of Moline, the Illiniwek Forest Preserve was there as well as the Moline Fire Department.