PlayCleanGo® is excited to kick-off the second annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, June 6–13, 2020. The national campaign is designed to highlight the role members of the public have in stopping the spread of invasive species. PlayCleanGo Awareness Week educates outdoor enthusiasts on how to responsibly enjoy outdoor activities without unintentionally spreading invasive plants or pests.
Throughout the week, members of the public are encouraged to learn how to stop the spread of invasive plants and pests. Whether using a boot brush station along a hiking trail; checking and cleaning camping gear, bikes, or boating equipment before heading out; or removing ornamental invasive plants from your backyard – everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of invasive pests.
“Nearly 50 percent of endangered or threatened species are at risk due to invasive species, which people can unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses and more,” said PlayCleanGo Campaign Manager Krista Lutzke. “The good news is, by taking a few easy steps while enjoying the great outdoors, you can do your part to reduce the spread of invasive species.”
Fortunately, it is easy to protect your favorite natural spaces.
1. Clean shoes and gear before and after your walk with a stiff brush or use boot-brush stations at trailheads.
2. Stay on marked and designated trails.
3. Clean your pets and horses by brushing mud and seeds off fur, hair, and pet gear such as leashes, collars and horse saddle blankets before traveling to a new location.
4. Feed your horse(s) weed-free, certified hay for at least three days before hitting the trails.
5. If you are a water adventurer, you can “clean, drain, dry and dispose” of living organisms and mud to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.
6. Clean your recreation gear, equipment, and trailers with water or compressed air to remove mud, egg nests and plant parts from tires, fenders and gears.
7. Don’t Move Firewood! Buy it where you burn it or use certified, heat-treated firewood.
8. Use plants that are native to your area in your yard and gardens. Avoid planting invasive species.
9. Repeat these steps for every adventure you take!
10. Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge here.
Following any combination of these steps will do wonders to protect the places you love. Want to do more? Educate yourself about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are trusted resources. Every little bit of prevention helps– combining the small measures you take outdoors with the larger efforts your local land managers undertake helps protect our natural resources and American agriculture.
Organizations across North America are spreading the word about PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, including the following partners: The Nature Conservancy, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA’s Forest Service, American Hiking Society, Leave No Trace, Bureau of Land Management, North American Invasive Species Management Association, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Forever, State parks, other federal land management entities, State and county land managers, outdoor retailers, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA), County Weed Management Associations (CWMA), and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).
For more information on what you can do to help stop the spread of invasive pests, visit PlayCleanGo.org here. Follow PlayCleanGo on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news and resources to help spread the message.
PlayCleanGo is a branded campaign owned by the North American Invasive Species Management Association. The campaign purpose is to protect our valuable natural resources from the devastating impacts of invasive species while encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors. PlayCleanGo promotes awareness, understanding, and cooperation by providing a clear call to action to be informed, attentive and accountable for stopping the spread of all invasive species through all recreation activities.