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Officials to conduct prescribed burn next week at Shaker Village

Smoke will fill the air at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Mercer County next week as the historic landmark and the state conduct a controlled burn of about 300 acres.

The prescribed burn is an effort to restore native habitat and reverse the decline of at-risk plant and animal species, according to a news release from Shaker Village.

Pleasant Hill and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct the burn Feb. 16 to 20 on Shaker Village property north of U.S. 68. During that time, the Shaker Village trail system will be closed for all recreational use, including hiking, biking and horseback riding.

The local fire department and adjoining landowners have been notified of the burn, and Don Pelly, Shaker Village naturalist, will assist Fish and Wildlife employees.

Prescribed fire, a method of managing wildlife habitat, releases nutrients that stimulate new plant growth. The restoration of native prairie land at Shaker Village will enhance biodiversity and return the land to its natural beauty.

The project includes planting grass and wildflower species that were present in Central Kentucky before the Shakers settled the area.