Summer Issue of PCG Newsletter, 7/18/16


Partner Newsletter

Summer 2016

Cleaning boot with boot brush
PlayCleanGo Banner Two
SWCD logo


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.

building bee house

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.

play clean go

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 success.

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.

terrestrial presentation

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,

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 activities.

Key elements of Invasive Species Action Month (ISAM) included the creation of the ISAM website (; 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.

Photo Contest
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.

ISAM photo contest photos

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

PlayCleanGo programming will continue through the busy summer months in BC, when many folks spent more time outside.

PlayCleanGo News 

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, Idaho!!!

New Items in the Drop Box Shared Partners’ Folder

By: Sue Burks, Terrestrial Species Coordinator, Division of Forestry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Three river wanted posters

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 coffee houses.

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 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

pcg ads


Emily Anderson

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.

News from PCG Partners

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 citizens.

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 other events.

trailer interior

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.”

weed wagon folks

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.

Weed wagon after upgrade

“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.”

wipe em off! capture brochure

PlayCleanGo Outreach to Waterfowl Hunters and Outdoor Recreationalists in Nebraska

By: Allison Zach, Nebraska Invasive Species Program Coordinator

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.

The 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:  If you are interested in obtaining these brochures for distribution contact the Nebraska Invasive Species Program Coordinator Allison Zach at email: 

Nebraska products for PCG packets

Nebraska Providing Recreation Dealers with PlayCleanGo Packets

By: Brent Meyer, NE

Nebraska 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.

Each 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 Appreciation Event.

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.

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