Play-Clean-Go: Stopping the Spread of Invasive Species

We all play a role in the conservation of the land, and sometimes it can be as easy as Play-Clean-Go. This summer the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) is partnering with the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO-PRISM) and the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop educational invasive species brush-off stations for preserves and conservation area with a grant from The Nature Conservancy.

The boots of trail visitors are vectors for the spread of seeds and fragments of invasive, non-native plant species. Seeds can be caught on hiking boots, transported to other areas and released into new sites subsequently spreading invasive species. The goals of the boot brush stations are to encourage hikers to clean their shoes before and/or after they enter a trail, preserve or one of the SLELO PRISM’s Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs). This will help to reduce the spread of invasive seeds, raise awareness about invasive species, and inform hikers through signage about simple steps they can take to reduce the spread of non-native plants. The stations will include brushes and signage overviewing key invasive species impacting the region, some potential species to keep an eye out for, what patrons can do to help reduce the spread of these species and also where they can get more information.

TILT currently is planning to install Play-Clean-Go invasive species brush off stations at four of TILT’s Preserves including Foster-Blake Woods, Otter Creek Preserve, Macsherry Trail, and Chippewa Bay Preserve this summer. So keep an eye out for these stations locally and throughout the region, and remember clean your outdoor gear as we all can make a difference.

(Spring 2016 Reflections Newsletter)

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