Volunteers do a springtime burn of the prairie around Town of Verona Hall

From right, Marilyn Chohaney and David Lonsdorf set fire to the grass during a scheduled prairie burn on Friday, April 30, at the Town of Verona Hall.

On a cloudless spring On a cloudless spring day on Friday, April 30, large pillows of white smoke could be seen rising from the northern side of Verona at the town hall.

A group of five volunteers — town board supervisors David Lonsdorf and Thomas Mathies, as well as volunteers Marilyn Chohaney, Pete Ragotzkie and Anne Helsley-Marchbanks — conducted a burn of the town hall’s prairie. The town hall’s surrounding prairie was first planted in 2017, shortly after the town’s new town hall building opened.

Prairie burns are often done to promote the health of the habitats by helping rid them of dead vegetation and invasive species, which can out-grow native plants and block sunlight.

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Kimberly Wethal joined Unified Newspaper Group in 2018, where she serves as the news editor for four publications and primarily covers the Verona Area School District and the City of Fitchburg. She previously was an intern with UNG starting in 2013.