One of Knox College's most valued traditions is the annual spring Prairie Burn, which brings together students from all disciplines in a prairie restoration project that inspired the name for Knox College's "Prairie Fire" athletic teams.
The Prairie Burns, first conducted in the 1950s by Knox professor Paul Shepard, protect prairie grasses from intrusions of woodland scrub and competition with "exotic" species that have been introduced to Illinois from other regions or countries -- to the detriment of organisms that have evolved over millions of years in delicate balance with the environment and each other.
The Prairie Burns at Green Oaks are one of the factors making Green Oaks one of the oldest restored tallgrass prairie in North America.
Highlights from a recent Prairie Burn:
Professor Stuart Allison plans the burn with students and faculty.
Professor Allison watches while Alicia Young sets a field on fire. Other students at rear maintain the fire line.
A student controls the edge of the burn.
Blackened fields will heat up more quickly, and native prairie plants are better adapted to fire than non-native species.
Britt Anderson encourages current Knox students to take classes in constitutional law, LSAT preparation, and to be ready to focus only on the study of law.
Scholar John Agnew aims to debunk myths and promote a better understanding of the dimensions of immigration in the United States and elsewhere.
A double-major in English literature and gender and women's studies, she walks in the footsteps of James Joyce and other writers, gaining a better understanding of them and their work.