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Boot brush stations aim to stop invasive species

Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 22:16:55-04

EL PASO COUNTY — Next time you go for a hike in El Paso County, keep an eye out for new boot brush stations.

They're being installed at the Baptist Road Trail Head for the new Santa Fe Trail, and at the Orion Drive Trail for Bear Creek Regional Park.

The "Play, Clean, Go" effort is in cooperation between El Paso County and the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Program.

Officials say these boot brushes give hikers an easy, convenient way to help stop the spread of invasive species and to protect biological diversity on our trails.

"Yes when people stop to brush their boots, they are certainly getting rid of weed seeds but it's also that it's right there in their face, let's them know what plants are bad species," said Tina Travis.

Along with brushes, the stations offer information about invasive species.

Signs identify the most problematic weeds that can be found in the area, along with tips like only using local firewood and inspecting boats for non-native organisms before entering and leaving the water.

It's important to keep in mind everything from shoes to clothes and equipment can carry pieces of those invasive plants.

El Paso County says brushing off shoes, clothing, backpacks, hooves, and paws before entering and leaving the area can help stop the spread of those species.