National Get Outdoor and PlayClean Go Day
By: Jen Wahls, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Wabasha Soil & Water Conservation District
On a rainy day in June twenty-one youth and adults
participated in National Get Outdoor and PlayCleanGo Day. This was
the first time Wabasha participated in the event. Our site for the event was Malone Park, a
city park that allows access to the biking/walking trail, opportunities to
explore terrestrial and aquatic invasive species and space for planned
activities. The event we held integrated
how invasive species impacts the biodiversity of our natural resources and how
that can impact our economy, recreation and health.
The volunteers were amazing! Cub Scout Pack 62 introduced the importance of habitat for native bees. They brought materials to “Build Your Own Bee House” using untreated wood. The importance of native vegetation for pollinator habitat was discussed. By utilizing PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks action steps, you help preserve native vegetation for our pollinators.
Wabasha Bicycle Club made the wet trek for any
participants still willing to go on a soggy ride. Participants were more inclined to attend other
programs under the cover of the outdoor shelter. Kudos to Craig and Ron for coming to the
program and being prepared to go for a ride, educate participants on bicycle
maintenance and utilize the “Play Clean Go” idea to reduce the spread of
invasive species via bicycles.
Olmsted County Parks was a hit with their presentation
using live animals indigenous to southeastern MN. Naturalists described the habitat these
creatures need for survival and how invasive species can adversely impact their
Then it was time to Hula! The day was cool and a warm up was much appreciated. Anytime Fitness had more activities planned but the weather “dampened” those plans. Not to be deterred, Quentin and Sherri brought hula hoops.
We had two presentations on invasive species, one on aquatic and one on terrestrial. Jen Wahls, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator with the Wabasha SWCD spoke with participants on the effects of AIS to our rivers, lakes and streams. Samples of invasive species were collected in nearby waters to show to people and help with identification. Native species were available for comparison. There was discussion on how people can help reduce the spread by utilizing ideas similar to “Play Clean Go” when they are recreating on the water.
Kelsey Dieterman was able to show people invasive species
such as buckthorn found in the park, describe the means of transportation and demonstrate
the importance following the PlayCleanGo
action steps. She had boot brushes and
handouts provided by PlayCleanGo to hand out to event participants.
Participants were able to go home with a boot brush and handouts on what
they can do to help reduce the spread of invasive species. Kelsey also spoke about other invasive
species common to the area, how to identify them and their impacts to the
ecosystem as well as how to reduce their spread.
While we had a rainy day that limited participation we
felt we had a successful day for our first National Get Outdoor/PlayCleanGo Day
in Wabasha. We had support from area
businesses donating prizes for the scavenger hunt which turned into a question
and answer time. Our volunteer
presenters were exceptional! I believe
people left with a better understanding as to the importance of removing mud
and plant debris before entering and leaving, and other ways of reducing the
spread of invasive species.
Invasive Species Action Month in British
Columbia - a great time to PlayCleanGo!
By: Sue Staniforth, Education & Outreach Manager, Invasive Species Council of
British Columbia, email@example.com
British Columbia celebrated
Invasive Species Action Month in May 2016! This years’ province-wide event followed
the month-long format begun in 2015, but was held a month earlier (May instead
of June) after several partner surveys identified May as a better month to
reach target audiences such as gardeners, outdoor recreationists and students.
The event was led by the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) and included
the official provincial proclamation by the BC Ministry of Justice, and the
development and support of many resources, communications and outreach
Key elements of Invasive Species
Action Month (ISAM) included the creation of the ISAM website (bcinvasivesmonth.com); a province-wide photo contest with increased use of social media tools including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; webinar
presentations and the development of a very popular media toolkit for partners to use including templates for press
releases, draft articles and sample tweets.
One Month, Four Theme Weeks
The month-long event was underscored
through the use of four themed weeks, which
highlighted specific areas of invasive species concern and key ISCBC provincial
campaigns. Each week there was an information sheet posted online and weekday
posts of “Species-a-Day” profiles focusing on the weekly theme. The themed week
format kept media interest up, and also allowed organizations that were mainly
focused on one concern or program - e.g.
aquatic invasive species - to target that key week, instead of attempting to
keep momentum up the entire month. Week Three focused on Outdoor Recreation and
PlayCleanGo - why invasive species are a concern, recreational activities
that spread invasive species such as hiking, camping, horse-back riding,
boating and fishing, key species to watch out for, and what people can do to
prevent the spread. Week One focused on Invasive Animals / Pets and Don’t Let
It Loose, while Weeks Two and Four emphasized Invasive Plants / PlantWise, Grow
Me Instead, and Aquatic Invasive
Species: Clean Drain Dry respectively.
For the first time, the ISCBC hosted a
month-long photo contest to encourage people to upload photos of actions to
control invasive plants or animals, or highlighting a key invasive species in
your community. There were three categories to enter: Invasive Species in BC, Recreation and Invasive Species,
and Making a Difference at Work. Youth sections, and great prizes including a Go Pro camera. The contest was run on social media platforms
(#bcinvasivescontest) to encourage easy entry and more use of these tools. Contest
submissions included bike and hiking boot cleaning photographs, great example of actions to take to “PlayCleanGo.
Dozens of events were held around
BC to celebrate the month as well. Events targeting PlayCleanGo included a full
day plant identification workshop in Salmon Arm supported by the Royal BC
Museum; a native grasslands training course in Invermere; three training
programs for forestry professionals; two environmental education professional
development workshops for educators; four invasive species ID and management
courses; a free seminar on Naturally Resilient Gardens and Landscapes in Port
Moody, and several invasive plant work parties and weed pulls in parks and along
hiking trails. Check out the full list of events at bcinvasivesmonth.com.
PlayCleanGo programming will continue
through the busy summer months in BC, when many folks spent more time outside.
Partner Challenge Results!
By: Shantell Frame-Martin, Montana
For those of you who have been
waiting in absolute suspense to see who won the PCG Partner Challenge, the wait
is over, the results are in! For those
unsure what of what the PCG Partner Challenge was; the PCG Steering Committee
challenged present partners to promote PCG and get as many new partners as they
could to sign up within their state. The
state who garnered the most new partners from January-June would then be
crowned as the winner in the July PCG Newsletter.
Initially, the Steering
Committee promised bragging rights to the winning state, but through the
graciousness of the North American Invasive Species Management Association
(NAISMA), the winning state will receive one free conference registration (a
$250 value) to the NAISMA Conference in Salt Lake City on September 26-29,
2016! Thanks, NAISMA!!!
Now, for the results! From April to June, Idaho and Nebraska were
tied at adding 10 new partners each, however, from the period of January to
April, Idaho took the lead adding 17 new partners total, compared to Montana’s
14 new partners added during the same time period. From
January to June, Idaho is the clear winner adding a grand total of 27
new PlayCleanGo partners total!
Coming in in second place is Montana adding a total of 17 new partners
and definitely worth mentioning is Nebraska in third with a total of 11 new
partners added to date. Also of note,
and a huge shout out to Kansas and the Yukon who both added their very first
PCG partner this year!
No pun intended, but… way to go,
New Items in the Drop Box Shared Partners’ Folder
By: Sue Burks, Terrestrial Species Coordinator, Division of Forestry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Everyone has been busy producing new PlayCleanGo materials
to use in their local areas. As we
receive copies, they are added to our Dropbox folder. So if you haven’t been in there lately, you
ought to check it out. Our partners are doing great work!!
The new FunFacts folder contains a number of posts that a
few of our partners have been using in their social media. For instance, there is a sub-folder labeled
MNDashBoardMessages that include 4 years of short pop-up messages that have
been used by the MN Dept. of Natural Resources to keep their staff and clients
informed of current issues. Included is
a file folder of photos, numbered and referenced in the list of topics by year
and season. They have been the source of
many of the PlayCleanGo Facebook posts that have gone out this year. On a
side note, if you search for #PlayCleanGo in Facebook you will find a large
number of the posts our partners have posted this year. Be sure to like PlayCleanGo and repost those
posts you find useful on your own page. The more the merrier (and hopefully better informed).
Three Rivers Park District produced a series of fact sheets
on key invasive plants. These can be
found under Partners materials/3Rivers_Watch List Species.
The University of Minnesota Extension created a number of
trail signs using new combinations of plant species not included in our trail
signs before. These can be found under
Partners materials/UMN Trail Signs. Feel
free to swap logos and use the graphics as needed in your area. Or if you have other species you’d like to
see on a trail sign, let us know and we can work with you to create a local version.
I created a new power point presentation with updated
partner numbers and an outline of the history of the campaign. It can be found in the Presentations folder.
The three videos produced by Montana and written up in the
last issue of the PCG newsletter have been added to the PCG Videos folder. They are a great example of effective
messaging. The commercials are airing
through the hunting season this year.
The PCG logo has been added to our temporary tattoos and a
fifth version with just the PCG brand signature has been created and added to
the Promo Items folder. Also in that
folder is a new coaster to use in conjunction with local micro-breweries and
Lastly a number of advertisements of varying sizes have been added to the Advertisements folder. They include ads for both print and on-line media. Feel free to use them in your local media.
As usual, all of these materials can be downloaded and
modified to meet local needs. All we ask
is that you follow the PlayCleanGo graphic standards when creating or modifying
PlayCleanGo materials. Then please share
any new materials you create by emailing a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all the partners who have shared
materials to date.
If you have not been invited to share the PlayCleanGo Shared
Partners Folder, check first with the primary PCG contact within your
organization. They have all been invited
to join our Dropbox account. If you need
assistance getting into the Folder, please contact us at email@example.com.
Meet the Steering Committee: Emily Anderson
Emily works in Kingsford, MI but is originally from Eagle
River, WI. Like many who grew up in the
Northwoods, Emily has a deep-seated love for the lakes, rivers, and forests
that cover northern Wisconsin; enjoying hiking, hunting, canoeing, and
searching for wildflowers. After
receiving a B.S. in Environmental Science from Northland College (Ashland, WI),
Emily fell into invasive species work with jobs and internships that all
included invasives. From pulling garlic
mustard in Wisconsin, surveying for water chestnut in Vermont, even inspecting
bats for White-Nose Syndrome and trapping Wild Hogs in the Great Smoky
Mountains. Emily knows invasive species
are never boring!
On the PlayCleanGo Steering Committee, Emily balances the
team as a member working in not one, but TWO eastern states. Since early 2014, Emily has coordinated the
Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC), a cooperative invasive species
management area that covers 3 counties in northeastern Wisconsin and 2 counties
in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While working in two states is not without challenges, it has put Emily
in touch with double the invasive species managers and resources. For WRISC, which uses grant funding for everything
from education/outreach and watercraft AIS decontamination, to invasive plant
mapping and control, extra resources are always a good thing. For PlayCleanGo, this has meant introducing
the campaign to a host of new Partners.
Emily will be leaving the Steering Committee at the end of
2016 as she leaves WRISC for a new adventure with her fiancé in southern
Indiana. While she doesn’t have many
plans beyond that, she knows that wherever you go, there is always work to do
with invasive species.
PlayCleanGo Weed Wagon Upgrade
By: Jon Valley
In Deschutes County, Oregon,
educating residents about invasive weeds is a big priority. In 2002, the Board
of Commissioners declared Deschutes County a Weed Control District under Oregon
law. County staff and community partners work year-round to preserve the
natural beauty and resources of Central Oregon against the threat of invasive
plants. A key component to this work is the education of Deschutes County
Since 2007, one of the main tools the County has used in its educational
efforts has been a traveling trailer, known as the Educational Weed Wagon. The
Weed Wagon was created with Title 2 funds from the USDA that were designated for
education and operating funds came from the county’s road department. Over the years,
the trailer has travelled to a variety of community events throughout the state
including county and state fairs, local home shows, community weed pulls and
The trailer serves as a mobile classroom; giving the public a chance to learn how to identify and combat non-native weeds. Currently, the trailer is stocked with a variety of posters, brochures, educational material and fun giveaways – including branded trowels and native seed packets. Today, the county’s road department takes care of funding the trailer’s ongoing maintenance and insurance costs.
This past spring, the county’s weed wagon got an upgrade, when County Vegetation Maintenance Supervisor Jon Valley spearheaded a partnership/collaboration effort with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and PlayCleanGo.
“With all of the recreational activities we have in Oregon, this campaign [PCG] is a great fit for us,” Valley said. “I think it’s something that really resonates with people who see it.”
As a part of the trailer’s
upgrade, the entire exterior was re-wrapped. The once bland exterior is now
covered in a full photo of Central Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park – one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders.
We decided to make the
trailer something that could be used statewide and this is reflected with
renaming it the “Invasive Species Education Station”. We want the public to
learn what invasive species are and not only how to control them but what they
can do to help stop their spread.
In the United States,
invasive species cost more than $137 billion annually, through crop damage,
fisheries reduction, forest health impacts and land management.
“With the new graphic design
people are drawn to it,” Valley said. “At our first event this year we probably
had about 250 people come through it in 2 days”
Valley is excited about a
continued partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and PlayCleanGo
as he continues working to educate Central Oregonians about how to control the
spread of non-native species.
“It’s an important message
to get out to folks,” he said. “Education really makes a difference.”
to Waterfowl Hunters and Outdoor Recreationalists in Nebraska
By: Allison Zach, Nebraska Invasive Species Program
The Nebraska Invasive Species Program (a grant funded
program at the University of Nebraska) worked with PlayCleanGo to create two
brochures to target hunters and outdoor recreationalists. The brochures pulled from successful
campaigns in Wisconsin, waterfowl hunter multimedia campaign and Ontario which
has a multimedia outdoor recreationalist’s campaign. The waterfowl brochures we created were
completed in the winter of 2015 and were distributed to sporting goods stores,
Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks
Commission. The brochures will continue
to be distributed in 2016 at expos and outreach events.
outdoor recreationalist brochures were printed in mid-2016 and will be
distributed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to state parks across the
state. They will also be at the district
office of the agency. A mailing of over
12,000 brochures will be sent out in July by the Nebraska Department of
Agriculture in with their Pesticide
and Noxious Weed Newsletter. The
brochures will also be sent to sporting goods stores, Ducks Unlimited and
Pheasants Forever for distribution. The brochures will also be disseminated at
outreach events and expos.
The brochures described above and other information can be
downloaded for free on the Nebraska Invasive Species Website at: neinvasives.com/resources/field-guides/. If you are interested in obtaining these
brochures for distribution contact the Nebraska Invasive Species Program
Coordinator Allison Zach at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nebraska Providing Recreation Dealers with PlayCleanGo
By: Brent Meyer, NE
Weed Control Association (NWCA) is providing packets to Recreation dealers to help
educate the public on invasives plants. Currently a dozen dealers from across
Nebraska have agreed to provide a PlayCleanGo packet with each sale of a boat,
ATV/UTV or trailer they sell. The packet provides information on noxious & troublesome
weeds and what sportsman can do to help prevent the spread of invasive plants
by properly cleaning their equipment. This puts valuable information directly
in the hands of those enjoying and working in the outdoors.
packet is designed specifically for the dealer and the area of the State their
territory covers. The dealer logo and contact information is inserted in a PCG
graphic and printed directly on a white 6” X 9” envelope, we stuff the envelope
with an overview sheet describing what is in the packet and why they should be
concerned. Additional information that
best suits the needs of the dealer is
inserted in the envelope. For example; a boat dealer gets different information
than an ATV dealer and a dealer in Lincoln might get different information than
a western Nebraska dealer. This provides the dealer with a neat, organized
packet to give to their customers. There is NO cost to the dealer and we provide
the number of packets they request. We just ask them to include the packet with
the other sales material (or sales Jacket).
Every dealer we’ve
approached is willing to give them out and some even offering suggestions on
other ways to reach the public. We’ve
even been offered to display PCG materials at one dealers upcoming Customer
The funding for the packets
is currently being provided by the NWCA Education and Outreach funds. The NWCA is currently waiting to hear if we
will receive a $3,000 Public Information & Education grant from the
Nebraska Academy of Sciences. This
funding will help purchase portable displays, Produce a PCG video and cover the
cost of materials.
New Trail Signs
By Christian Wood, (University of Minnesota Extension)
Between 2013 and 2016, numerous Minnesota Master Naturalist
volunteers and others have taken the Invasive Blitz advanced training put on by the University of Minnesota Extension Service,
an active PlayCleanGo partner. The classes
focus on invasive species identification and management. As a means to further
support local management efforts, participants were offered the opportunity to
submit proposals to receive free PlayCleanGo trail signage.
Several new versions were
developed to address invasive species occurrences across Minnesota. The
files are now available in the Partner
Materials/UMN Trail Signs folder. Some of these
templates contain species and imagery not found in previous PlayCleanGo trail
signs. Feel free to remix these templates to fit your own needs.
Please be aware, that each template has the UMN-Extension
and LCCMR (Minnesota Legislative & Citizen
Commission on Minnesota Resources) logo as well as text indicating that
LCCMR fund were used to create the end product. You will want to remove these
elements in your own projects.