PlayCleanGo- April Newsletter

Partner Newsletter
Spring 2016

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1854 Treaty Authority’s Outreach Efforts in 2015

By: Jeffery Flory, 1854 Treaty Authority (Minnesota)

In 2015, the 1854 Treaty Authority partnered with PlayCleanGo to help extend their message and outreach materials regarding terrestrial invasive species, how human activities spread them, and how to reduce their spread.

Our first event was at the Iron Range Earth Fest, held in Mountain Iron, MN on April 18th.  We had two staff members run a booth for 10 hours, handing out materials, answering questions, and discussing about PCG’s message and about our organization to about 210 people.

On June 5th, Enbridge had a volunteer day at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN. 1854 staff met with 42 of their staff to talk about PCG’s message and handed out boot brushes and outreach materials after the meeting and at the end of the volunteer day, emphasizing and demonstrating the importance of cleaning their shoes, gear, and clothing after working outside in the dirt and around the invasive species present at the zoo. A sub-set of their staff helped 1854 in pulling Common Buckthorn seedlings and saplings from the zoo’s property. Thirteen people cycled throughout the day towards this effort, totaling about 36.5 volunteer hours of Buckthorn identification training and hard work removing buckthorn.  They were able to fill three, 55 gallon garbage bags and hung a lot of pulled seedlings and saplings on tree and shrub branches. More work is needed at the Lake Superior Zoo, but our efforts would fall short without the hard work and dedication from amazing volunteers.

Later that year, 1854 and the City of Duluth teamed up to reach people during National Get Outdoors Day at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth, MN on June 13th. One 1854 staff and two city staff members met with about 81 people utilizing Hartely Park for hiking, exercising, or enjoying the outdoors with their children for 5.5 hours.

The 1854 Treaty Authority is an inter-tribal organization that works for the Grand Portage and Bois Forte bands of Lake Superior Chippewa in the territory ceded under the Treaty of 1854.  Our staff attend certain events for muliple purposes, including powwows where 1854 staff hand out information, swag, and issue or re-issue band ID cards. On August 8th of 2015, 1854 also included information and handouts to band members at Rendezous Days, reaching roughly 75 people with PlayCleanGo’s and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers’ messages.

1854 Treaty events

PCG National Steering Committee Representative Spotlight

Matt Davis

Matthew Davis has been the ND & MN Regional Trail Coordinator for the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) for the last 9+ years. He lives in Detroit Lakes, MN - a lake rich area that is ironically a hotbed for Aquatic Invasive Species issues.

Representing non-motorized recreationists on the PCG Steering Committee, Matthew first got involved with the PCG program when one of the NCTA partners in Minnesota was looking to provide trailhead information on invasives to trail users. He was very excited to discover PCG, which at the time, was just getting going under the Minnesota DNR. Now, many NCT trailheads in Minnesota feature PCG information right alongside information on the North Country National Scenic Trail and many more will moving forward. He is involved with PCG because he believes it is incumbent on all trail users to prevent the spread of invasives thus damaging the trail experience for future generations. The non-profit NCTA is a PCG partner and Matthew is now working to recruit additional partners across the Trail’s 4,600 miles and also within the National Trails Community (did you know that there are 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails?).

In his spare time, Matthew enjoys hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, canoeing and in general being in the outdoors with his wife and four young kids. His family is on a mission to visit all 75 State Parks and Recreation Areas in Minnesota.

Being Social on Social Media! #PlayCleanGo

By: Erica Edmiston, Teton County Weed & Pest (Wyoming)

Are you using FaceBook or Twitter to connect with others in the invasive species world and to share the PlayCleanGo message? These can be fantastic tools to get the word out but they can also be a little daunting! Trying to come up with content to share, photos, new information so that you keep your followers engaged can be exhausting!

Let’s help one another out! If you are creating content use the hashtag #PlayCleanGo at the end of each post. Yes, even on FaceBook. Using the hashtag allows others to search for your posts this way. If fellow PCG members are looking for material, they can simply type #PlayCleanGo into the FaceBook or Twitter search bars and share it!

Need more content? Well PCG has Dropbox for that! PCG has been uploading tons of material for you to use for free! Look for the FunFacts. If you have not yet accessed all of the content in Dropbox and need assistance, please email

One last thing! Don’t forget to connect with PlayCleanGo from your personal pages as well as the ones you manage for your organizations!

Twitter - @PlayCleanGo
FaceBook -


PlayCleanGo Partners:  Who Are They

By: Susan Burks, PCG Program Leader (Minnesota)

As of this article, the outreach campaign PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks (PCG) had a total of 290 partner organizations spread across 35 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Who are they? The quick and easy answer is that they are PCG’s greatest asset!

Designed to change public behaviors at risk of spreading harmful invasive species, the success of the PCG campaign is dependent on the frequency and breadth of exposure it receives by the recreating public. While simple, memorable and consistent messaging increases the likelihood folks will remember what they’ve seen, it is the number of times they see it and the range of organizations using it that helps ensure folks buy into the messaging and take up the desired actions. By engaging many partner organizations, this campaign can help protect the natural resources here in Minnesota, as well as natural resources across the continent. That is ultimately our goal, so we are grateful for our partner organizations and their contribution to the PCG outreach campaign.

Our partners include organizations of all kinds. The most common types of organization are public agencies, not-for-profit organizations and conservation districts.  See Chart. Councils, cooperative weed/pest management areas, and management units, such as national forests and wildlife management areas are also common.  Outreach efforts have done a good job of reaching like-minded organizations and management units. Where the campaign could expand is in reaching out to recreational clubs and associations, outdoor retailers and youth organizations.

Partner type

Where are they located? Across the continent. See map. The majority are in the west, with 188 partner organizations across western United States and Canada. There are currently 82 mid-western partners and 20 partners in the eastern United States. Minnesota, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska are leading the charge in the United States (with 55, 36, 30, 26 and 24 partner organizations respectively). Alberta and British Columbia and the most active Canadian provinces with 13 and 12 partner organizations respectively.

The states and provinces with the most participation have made a concerted effort to enroll their cooperators from the state council down to the cooperative weed management areas and local communities. In the process they have enrolled land managers as well as decision makers at all levels. With that kind of support, several of them have landed good sized grants to expand their local outreach efforts. Their partners are energetic and their products are creative. You can check out some of their products by going to the shared PCG Partner Dropbox folder. Feel free to use the contact list to reach out to some of these partner organizations and find out more about what’s working for them.

Parnter location map

Photos of PlayCleanGo products

Partner Challenge!

By: Emily Anderson, Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (Michigan/Wisconsin)

Over the last few years PlayCleanGo partners like you have helped the originally Minnesota-based program to grow to a national, and international campaign!  PlayCleanGo now includes 290 partners from 35 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 7 federal agencies (not too shabby). But the campaign steering committee knows that there are still potential partners across the US and Canada that have never heard of PlayCleanGo, and with them, recreationists that we want to reach with the PlayCleanGo message.

That is why we issuing a challenge to you, our partners! This year, take time to spread the word about PlayCleanGo and invite organizations, agencies, and states/provinces in your area to learn more and consider joining the campaign. For the months May-June, we’re challenging you to spread the PCG word to as many people as possible, encouraging them to become partners. The winner for most partners joined in YOUR state (from May 1-June 30) will be featured in the July 2016 summer newsletter and will be announced on Facebook on June 30 (for bragging rights!)

Helpful hints for drawing in new partners:

  • Check the PlayCleanGo partners page to see who is (or isn’t) a partner in your area. Email, write, or call potential partners you know and invite them directly to join!
  • Highlight the benefits of joining PlayCleanGo: Access to PCG graphics, ability to customize your own PCG campaign materials, states/provinces can customize their partner drop-down menu on the PCG website, and best of all…it’s FREE!
  • Remind potential partners that PCG is for groups big and small, from federal agencies to small citizen clubs and county conservation districts.
  • Show off PCG campaign materials at local events and conferences.  Include handouts and PCG partner cards for folks to grab. (Check out the displays dropbox folder for ideas.)  
  • Link to PCG on your website.
  • Include a PCG highlight in your next newsletter.
  • And most of all, use PCG materials yourself to promote the PlayCleanGo message.

New partners don’t have to go through any rigorous process either, just direct them to where they can enter their information and join the campaign.  We’ll even send them a welcome package with some free swag just for joining! Together, we can reach recreationists across the US and Canada.

Montana video

Have You Seen The PCG Commercials?

By: Shantell Frame-Martin, Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign (Montana)

According to research about 65% of the population is visual learners and 90% of information that gets transmitted to the brain is visual! This highly visual learning style was the driving force behind Montana’s set of PCG themed commercials. Last summer, the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign (MNWEC) scripted, filmed and successfully aired three PCG commercials in Montana.

The first commercial features photos of picturesque Montana landscapes complete with recreationalists enjoying camping fly fishing, hunting and hiking. This commercial boasts the need for recreationalists to ‘Come Clean, Leave Clean’ because recreation in Montana is a way of life. To protect recreational opportunities, wildlife and landscapes for future generations, recreationalists are encouraged to arrive with clean gear, feed certified hay, stay on trails, remove mud and weed seeds from gear, clothing and vehicles. This commercial also features photos of houndstongue, dyer’s woad and blueweed; all of which are state listed noxious weeds in Montana.  This commercial aired around the state from July 7-July 20, 2015 and ran both as a television and YouTube ad.  The YouTube campaign proved quite successful, with 28,322 total impressions, 21,401 video impressions and a total of 3,408 views.

The second commercial features a summer recreation theme complete with live action shots of people hiking, fishing, riding an ATV, and waterskiing.  This video is unique because it also features people participating in weed prevention methods such as removing burs and seeds from a pet companion after hiking, pressure washing watercraft, and removing seeds and plant parts from backpacks and ATVs.  The take home message from this commercial is, “Preventing new infestations is the best way to manage noxious weeds!”  Airing of this commercial took place from September 1-September 15, 2015 and was also featured in a YouTube Campaign.  This commercial had 20,739 total impressions, 17,078 video impressions and a total of 3,263 views.

Commercial #3 was by far the most successful commercial as it aired during hunting season in Montana from November 8-November 28, 2015. This commercial features a big game hunting theme and showcases hunters that are horseback riding, riding ATV’s, and hiking.  As with commercial #2, this commercial showcases these recreationalists participating in weed spread prevention activities including cleaning burs and seeds from their horses, gear, pants and shoelaces, as well as power washing the undercarriage, wheel wells, tires and running boards of both the ATV and pickup truck that are seen in the commercial.  During the timespan this commercial aired on YouTube it had 47,536 impressions, 25,609 video impression and 4,515 views.

In addition to airing all three commercials on television stations in Montana and the YouTube Campaigns, the ads have also been posted on the Montana Noxious Weed Education’s (MNWEC) Facebook page. Feel free to post and re-post these videos from the MNWEC FB page to your own FB pages. If you would like more information about the commercials, feel free to contact Shantell at or (406) 444-9491.


MAY 2016 is Invasive Species Action Month in British Columbia!

It's official! The province of BC has declared that May 2016 shall be known as "Invasive Species Action Month." Read the BC proclamation.

The Invasive Species Council of BC is hosting a website that will list all the events, activities and resources for the month, including a great photo contest! Check out

The month is broken down into the following themes to highlight key programs each week.

The third week in May will highlight PlayCleanGo – good timing as the May long weekend is the start of the official camping season!

May 23-27, 2016 is Idaho Weed Awareness Week.  Learn more about Idaho Weed Awareness.

June 2016 marks Wisconsin’s 12th Annual Invasive Species Awareness Month! The month long event features various education and outreach by local groups along with a statewide Invasive Species Video contest through the Wisconsin DNR Facebook page and the Invader Crusader Awards.  These awards are given by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council to citizens and professionals that have made a significant impact in the fight against the spread of invasive species in Wisconsin.  For more information, go to

July 24-29, 2016 the North American Envirothon – Invasive Species: a Challenge to Environment, Economy and Society will be held in Peterborough, Ontario.   An international competition for high-schoolers, the Envirothon develops knowledge, skilled and dedicated citizens who have an understanding of natural resources and are willing and prepared to work towards achieving and maintaining a balance between the quality of life and the quality of the environment. Learn more about the NA Envirothon.

October 17-19, 2016 the Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference: Sharing Innovative and Practical Solutions is being held in La Crosse, WI.  For more information or to register, visit

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