Play your part

Canada thistle (Cirisum arvense) is an invasive weed commonly found in BC along roadsides, in fields and recently logged forests. It forms thick infestations that choke out other plant species.

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J. Leekie

Join other outdoor enthusiasts in BC protecting the places we love by practicing the simple steps of PlayCleanGo.

Make a difference while you explore the province’s great outdoors. Follow these best practices to protect British Columbia’s natural habitats and biodiversity by stopping the spread of invasive species.

PlayCleanGo – Give Invasive Species the Brush Off

About PlayCleanGo

As outdoor adventurers we can unintentionally be spreading invasive species on our way. We can all play our part to solve the problem.

When hiking on a trail and brush against a plant, we may have accidentally gained some hitchhikers on our clothing or gear. The seeds of plants, invasive or not, can be found on our boots, clothes, gear and even our pets. It’s easy to understand how we can easily bring these uninvited guests home and silently spread invasive plants during our next adventure. Even the mud in our tires, whether exploring by bike, ATV or another vehicle, can be spreading invasives from one backcountry area to another.  The firewood we enjoy burning can also be home to harmful insects or forest diseases. Follow these simple steps to prevent invasive species from spreading to the places you love.

Help Stop the Spread

1. Remove plants, insects, and mud from your boots, gear, and pets. Pick off seeds, burrs and bugs and brush off dirt.
2. Check your tires on bikes and ATVs. Remove any mud and plant parts before moving to a new area.
3. Clean your gear before entering and leaving a recreation site. Clean your footwear at a trailside boot brushing station or pack and use your own boot brush.
4. Stay on designated roads and trails. Keep invasive species localized by staying on marked or designated trails.
5. Learn to identify common invasive species and report them. Report unfamiliar or unusual plants or wildlife you see.

Specific actions for your type of Activity

Whether you use a tent, RV, or nothing but the clear blue sky, it’s important to not accidentally move invasive species from place to place, particularly in firewood. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean
    Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Buy Local, Burn Local – Use only local or certified firewood
    Before camping, check for any firewood restrictions at your intended campsite. Shop ahead of time to locate a source of firewood near your campsite. Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host. Learn more about Buy it Where you Burn it—Don’t Move Firewood
  3. Use weed-free or certified hay
    Use weed-free hay when horseback riding or using hay for other purposes. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  4. Stay on designated trails
    Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  5. Leave clean
    Before leaving your campsite, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you or your belongings. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Whether walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or ATV, it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally move invasive species from place to place. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean
    Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Use weed-free or certified hay
    When horseback riding, use weed-free or certified hay. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  3. Stay on designated trails
    Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  4. Leave clean
    Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

By following these simple steps, you can help protect your business investments and protect the environment.

  1. Come Clean
    Before leaving the shop, take a little time to inspect your gear and remove dirt, plants, and seeds from clothing, boots, gear, and vehicles.
  2. Use weed-free materials
    When bringing soil, gravel, or other material onto a work site, check your sources to make sure they are weed free. 
  3. Burn or utilize wood waste
    Pallets, packing material, and containers made from untreated wood can harbour plant pests. Plan ahead to either burn or utilize wood waste. 
  4. Stay in designated areas
    Check with the project manager to identify designated areas for parking and areas for storing supplies and equipment. Then stay within those designated areas.
  5. Start at the cleanest site
    When mowing, grading, or doing other work that involves moving from site to site, plan your work so that you start at the least infested site and finish at the most infested site. Between sites, use a brush or hand tool to remove accumulations of mud and plant debris.
  6. Leave clean
    Before heading back to the shop, inspect your vehicle and gear. When available, use a power washer or air compressor to remove any dirt, plants, seeds, or bugs. When these are not available, use a brush or other hand tool to knock off dirt clods and plant debris.

How to: hike Responsively

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