From the Crisis Management Team - Planned Control Burn Feb. 28

dusk on campus

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Rice Crisis Management Team (CMT) will oversee and support a controlled burn effort at the Prairie Plots on the south lawn of the James Turrell Skyspace. The Houston Fire Department will conduct the burn, which will last approximately two to three hours and will begin at 11:00 am. During this time, the sidewalks surrounding the Prairie Plots and the James Turrell Skyspace will be blocked to pedestrian traffic. RUPD officers will be on-site to ensure the safety of those nearby. In addition, parking on the Inner Loop along College Way during this time will be prohibited. The James Turrell Skyspace will be closed during the burn.

Controlled burning, also known as prescribed burning, involves intentionally burning ground with standard weed-burning tools to maintain the health of a forest, wetlands or prairie. Controlled burns help manage weeds and other growth, can help restore nutrients, and help lead to more desirable plant growth in the future. Prairies respond very positively to fire and are rejuvenated because burning dead vegetation releases nutrients for the plants and allows the soil temperatures to warm up more quickly in the spring.

These burns are scheduled when the weather and other elements minimize risk to the public. The campus community could expect to see and smell smoke in that space and possibly surrounding areas and buildings. The CMT is working to reduce any impact this activity may have on our community.

The Prairie Plots is a collaboration between Rice Architecture and Rice FE&P Grounds department. The living installation explores alternative landscape maintenance practices' social, environmental and cultural dimensions.

If you have specific questions or concerns about this scheduled activity on the day of the event, don't hesitate to get in touch with Susann Glenn, CMT liaison officer, at