Campaign aims to combat invasive species

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Is June 1–8

The first-ever PlayCleanGo Awareness Week will take place June 1–8 with events occurring across North America. PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is part of a national campaign focused on getting outdoor enthusiasts to take action to avoid spreading invasive plants and pests, while enjoying the activities they love.

Grand County Weed Control Supervisor Tim Higgs reminds Moab residents that these are good practices to use locally.

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is sponsored by PlayCleanGo, Don’t Move Firewood, and Hungry Pests. The campaign hashtag is #PlayCleanGoWeek.

“Nearly 50% of endangered or threatened species are at risk due to invasive species, which people unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses and more,” said PlayCleanGo Campaign Manager Belle Bergner. “But the good news is, by taking a few easy steps while enjoying the great outdoors, you can be part of the solution, reducing the spread of invasive species.”

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is for hikers, campers, trail runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, gardeners, pet owners, birdwatchers, backpackers, paddlers, anglers, boaters, horseback riders, ATV/OTR riders, explorers—anyone who loves spending time outdoors.

Recreationists can take easy steps to protect the places they love, including these 10 things they can do to stop invasive species:

  1. Clean footwear with a boot brush.
  2. Remove invasive plants and dispose of them properly.
  3. Pick seeds and burrs off of clothes and gear.
  4. Clean mud and seeds from your dog.
  5. Don’t move firewood: buy it where you burn it.
  6. Hose your bike or ATV with water or compressed air.
  7. Boaters: clean, drain and dry your boats, and dispose of refuse.
  8. Feed your horse weed-free certified hay.
  9. Clean your horse’s hooves, mane, and tail.
  10. Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge at www.playcleango.org/pledge.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to join together in projects, events and activities that promote stopping the spread of invasive species — everything from hosting an awareness-raising event, to participating in a weed-pull project, to simply buying local firewood or using a boot brush after hiking.

Organizations across North America are participating including PlayCleanGo Partners, the North American Invasive Species Management Association, The Nature Conservancy, USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA – Forest Service, Leave No Trace, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Canadian Council on Invasive Species, state parks, other federal land management entities, state and county land managers, outdoor retailers, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, County Weed Management Associations, and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management.

June 1–8 was chosen for PlayCleanGo Awareness Week in part to coincide with National Trails Day (June 1), World Environment Day (June 5), and National Get Outdoors Day (June 8).

Dozens of campaign materials for the public and the media are at www.PlayCleanCo.org/awareness-week , including animated explainer videos , a mega-infographic combining data with how-tos, a 5-page PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Toolkit , social media posts and graphics, a radio PSA, and more.