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Connecting with Recreation Groups is a Win-Win!

By: Erica Edmiston, Teton County Weed & Pest, WY

With the explosion of PlayCleanGo, many Partners are inviting new organizations to become PCG partners too, installing boot brush stations and using the great brand materials, but have you considered reaching out to your local outdoor organizations and asking if you can sponsor their club, a race or an event? You might find that not only will you get the PCG message and logo out there, but you'll be supporting the groups that are at the very heart of PCG, whether they are an official partner or not!

Teton Trail Runners at summitThe Teton Trail Runners Club (TTR) in Jackson, Wyoming is an example of a group that already had a very strong outdoor ethic. They volunteered for trail "dig days" around the area, repairing and maintaining the resources they know and love. They provide scholarships for local youth and volunteer to assist with area races. Teton County Weed and Pest District (TCWP) reached out to TTR to see how they could support their efforts. As it turned out thanks to all the great things they were already engaged in, PCG was a perfect fit for this group and the benefits flowed both ways! We asked TTR Co-President, Travis Ziehl, about his experiences with TTR and PCG.

Why is PlayCleanGo important to our community & this group?
We're lucky enough to live in the heart of a national treasure, the Greater Yellowstone Area. Literally, millions of people from across the United States and the world, visit our area annually to enjoy the flora, fauna, and scenic vistas of our home. This place is amazing and people are drawn here to be part of it and as responsible stewards we're actively looking for ways to help keep it that way. PlayCleanGo, provides us with one part of that accountable mindset and responsible actions to help reduce the spread of invasive species. 

How does TTR PlayCleanGo? 
Teton Trail Runners under tentTTR was an early adopter to the PlayCleanGo mindset. Some of the clean recreation concepts and outdoor ethics our club has been engaged with were happening even prior to being partnered with PCG. That's what made it such a good fit for partnership. As trail runners, we have a commitment to the resource we use (trails often in the backcountry and public lands) and an understanding that our actions can have long term consequences to the future health of the primarily intact ecosystem around Jackson Hole. Accordingly, club members bring clean gear to our events free of mud, debris, and hitchhiking seeds. As members become more aware of back country noxious weed threats, we report them to the appropriate land management entity.

Teton Trail Runner with t-shirt on showing PlayCleanGo logo

How can PCG better connect with clubs such as TTR?
A lot of the groups of people that are involved in backcountry recreation generally want to do the right thing. They care about the places they love to recreate and don't want to see them transformed by impacts of invasives or some other threat. Groups like PCG and others that are involved in the clean recreation ethic should approach local groups as partners, bring them in on the conversation and make sure the behaviors they are asking to modify, make sense to their audience. Additionally, on a big picture scale it's important to identify leaders, role models, and spokespeople with in the recreation industry to champion the cause; "If Joe Smith is at the top of his game and he [participates in] PCG - I should too."

ad for the summit seriesNow TCWP Sponsors the TTR Club every year. The PCG logo is displayed on their club t-shirts and on ads for their Summit Series racing events. This sponsorship helps the TTR Club continue to do all the great things they do for their community, the environment, and in-turn helps TCWP spread the PCG word at the same time.

News from PCG Partners

Unconventional Prevention Efforts

By Katie Grzsiak, NW MI Invasive Species Network

Japanese barberry in wagon

Japanese barberry,
Berberis thunbergii is an invasive shrub that is moving into higher and higher concern in northwest lower Michigan. Commonly used for landscaping, Japanese barberry escapes by seed into surrounding forests and oak savannahs, crowding out native plants, not supporting wildlife, and even changing soil chemistry. According to a 2012 study from the University of Connecticut, barberry also harbors black-legged ticks (aka deer ticks) that serve as vectors for Lyme disease. With ticks and Lyme disease on the rise in Michigan, this makes getting Japanese barberry out of landscapes a priority for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN).

Through a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, orchestrated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ISN created a Trade-Up program to host a Dumpster Day: members of the public could sign up, share how many barberry shrubs they had, and come to a specially-ordered dumpster to exchange their invasive ornamental plants for $5 coupons to participating local businesses (from our Go Beyond Beauty program) for a replacement.

participants standing under tent. Truck load Japanese barberry next to them.
On the much-awaited Dumpster Day, participants brought their barberry in during assigned time blocks to alleviate congestion.  PCG played an important part in the message we sent home with participants. We shared a list of landscape alternatives and other barberry-specific information, but prevention messaging went above and beyond. ISN took the opportunity to encourage clean boots, boats, and bait and gave out PCG "swag" to especially interested participants. PCG themed tattoos that were given out were a big hit with kids!

In all, 102 plants were removed from landscapes through this program. There were 25 landowner participants, three volunteers, and 11 hours of volunteer work stationed at the dumpster. The program was so successful that a second Dumpster Day is scheduled for the end of July!  With the success of working with local businesses including the brewery, Terra Firma to remove their shrubs, we plan to reach out to businesses with barberry in their landscapes as well as homeowners to increase the impact of this project.

Who Doesn't Love a Giveaway?

By: Erica Edmiston, Teton County Weed & Pest, WY

Facebook add for contestDid you see the PlayCleanGo Giveaway last month? If you missed it, you missed out on the chance to win a GoPro Hero5!!! But never fear, another one is already in the works for later this summer!

Want to do a giveaway of your own? They can be a simple and fun way to engage outdoor enthusiasts and spread the PlayCleanGo message!

The GoPro Giveaway was sponsored by the Wyoming Weed & Pest Council with the goal of getting more people to view and share the recently developed PlayCleanGo videos that highlight mountain biking, trail running, ATV users and horseback users.  With 940 entries, it was a great success!

So how do you set up a giveaway? They can be as simple as posting a fun picture and having a "Caption This" contest on your Facebook page. Pick your favorite caption and give away a prize. The Wyoming Weed & Pest Council utilized a program called Rafflecopter to manage the entries and randomly select the winner, but there are other online services out there that can help as well. The prizes don't have to be anything as big as a GoPro. Ideas for giveaways can include outdoor gear, water bottles, gift cards, PCG swag or whatever you have! Try partnering with another PlayCleanGo partner in your community and see if you can use your collective resources to spread the word and engage more people! 

Don't forget to use the hashtag #PlayCleanGo so that fellow partners can find your posts about giveaways and other PCG engagements. We can all help share if we know how to find the posts in the social media world! If you do a giveaway, let PlayCleanGo know so they can highlight it in a future newsletter! Good luck!


Why Social Media for PlayCleanGo?

By: Erica Edmiston, Teton County Weed & Pest, WY

Play Clean Go logo

Are you using social media to spread the PlayCleanGo word? We hope so!  There are 1.86 billion people on Facebook and that doesn't even begin to touch all the other media such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, the list goes on! Being effective on social media can help partners share the tips of how to PlayCleanGo, videos, interact with outdoor enthusiasts and build support for the PlayCleanGo ethic across North America and the world!   

The March webinar brought to the membership by PlayCleanGo and the University of Wyoming featured Rose Caiazzo of Rose Consulting, LLC. It was geared towards helping PCG partners learn how to maximize their potential and break through the noise on social media, creating more effective content! Topics included managing your Facebook page, creating content, scheduling posts, initiating engagement and how to use hashtags effectively. You know, the # symbol! The more we coordinate our efforts, use hashtags and learn to tag one another, the more engaging and effective we will be as PlayCleanGo enthusiasts!

So, if you missed the webinar you are in luck! You can find the webinar and associated materials in the folder "Podcasts, Videos & Radio PSAs/March '17 Webinar Matls.


Rep. Spotlight

Julie Kraft, Western PCG Rep.

Julie Kraft with family

Julie works at all levels of invasive species management and feels it is important to serve on and help lead committees at state and national levels to achieve invasive species goals.

Julie loves plants! She has always enjoyed learning new plants and is passionate about preserving natural resources. Julie enjoys hiking, fishing and hunting with her husband and two young children, in Pinedale, Wyoming. Julie set her sights on invasive species after she started seeing a beloved meadow invaded by yellow toadflax. She strives to prevent invasive species spread into public lands through education, awareness, and action.


Conabio, Mexico

Please welcome our first PlayCleanGo partner in Mexico, CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad). This is a permanent intersecretarial Commission, with the mission to promote, coordinate, support, and develop activities geared towards increasing the knowledge about biological diversity and its conservation and sustainable use for the benefits of society. It is an applied research organization that serves as a bridge between government and academia and it is a public source of information for everyone. Part of CONABIO´s activities include the Invasive Species Program, and development and maintenance of the National Invasive Species System. PlayCleanGo is delighted to have CONABIO working with American and Canadian partners to engage residents and visitors across North America in the action steps needed to protect our natural resources. They already have well-developed relationships with local communities and business leaders where PlayCleanGo materials will be useful. PlayCleanGo's positive messaging will also play well with the many visitors frequenting Mexico's many vacation spots.   

Just as Canada is translating PlayCleanGo materials into French for their residents, CONABIO has begun the process of translating PlayCleanGo materials into Spanish. We're thrilled about being able to use the translated materials in the United States to help reach our many immigrant families. Both the Canadian and Mexican efforts should be ready to share sometime next year. So stay tuned.  

We invite you to visit the CONABIO websiteshare their site with friends and family in Mexico and welcome them to PlayCleanGo. Once on their site, look for the option in the upper left to select your preferred language. Other useful links include the following:

Yellow starthistle and Oriental bittersweet tattoos

New Materials

Tattoos collection increase by one and a favorite gets an update.

We added a new tattoo to our collection to help take out the prick in Yellow starthistle in your outreach efforts and we updated an old time favorite, Oriental bittersweet to better define the look of this crafty vine.

If there is another tatoo you would like create, contact Kim Lanahan-Lahti.

Redesign website coming soon.

Screen capture of new website. Kim has been working hard with Nighthawk Marterking to updated the PlayCleanGo website so that it is responsive (resizes) regardless of device or platform the visitor is on to help improve the overall user experience. We will also be moving the website from MNDNR servers to a hosting platform that will allow us even more flexibility.


NAISMA logoPlayCleanGo Summit - October 23, 2017 - Reno, Nevada. Start Planning Your Trip!

Belle Bergner, Executive Director, NAISMA

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with PlayCleanGo Partners from all over the US, Canada and Mexico! Learn the latest tools and techniques for communication and invasive species prevention and management, and recharge your batteries in the beautiful foothills of the Sierras, less than 1 hour from stunning Lake Tahoe. With discounted Nugget hotel rooms at only $55 per night, come early, take advantage of access to the NAISMA Annual Meeting, join the Lake Tahoe tour on Tuesday, October 24, and stay late! Mention "NAISMA meeting" when booking at the Nugget to get the discount.

Check out the preliminary PlayCleanGo Summit agenda and the NAISMA annual meeting agenda. Highlights of the NAISMA annual meeting will include trainings, workshops, plenary sessions, social events, latest tools and techniques, and a tour around Lake Tahoe featuring invasive species management challenges in and around the Lake.

Ready to register? Could you take 30 seconds to answer a few questions on this survey to help us better plan the Summit and get an idea for who is coming? We want to make the Summit as productive for PlayCleanGo partners as possible and to figure out how to most effectively grow PlayCleanGo across North America. 

Would you like to present a poster about how you utilize PlayCleanGo? Posters will be viewed at the Monday evening social and can be displayed throughout the NAISMA Annual Meeting. One oral presentation slot is still available in the Case Studies / Successful Partnerships session. Submit an oral or poster presentation. We look forward to seeing you in October!