Awareness of invasives emphasized

LANSING – The first-ever PlayCleanGo Awareness Week — a national campaign urging outdoor enthusiasts to take action to avoid spreading invasive plants and pests while enjoying the activities they love — will take place across North America June 1-8.

That week is a time to make more people aware of how their outdoor excursions can contribute to the spread of invasive pests and plants, and what they can do to prevent it.

“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 national 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.”

People can take these simple actions to protect the places they love:

— Clean footwear with a boot brush.

–Remove invasive plants and dispose properly.

–Pick seeds and burrs off clothes and gear.

–Clean mud and seeds from dogs and horses.

–Hose off bikes or ATVs with water or compressed air.

–Clean, drain and dry boats, and dispose of any invasive plants.

— Don’t move firewood; buy it where you burn it.

“The start of the summer season is a great time to add a new step to your recreation routine,” said Joanne Foreman, Michigan Department of Natural Resources invasive species communications coordinator.

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