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Help prevent the spread of invasive species during PlayCleanGo Awareness Week

Children using a boot brush to remove debris and dirt from their shoes and boots.

The Michigan Invasive Species Program is joining the North American Invasive Species Management Association to promote PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, taking place this year June 1-8. The annual event aims to educate outdoor enthusiasts on the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species while enjoying the great outdoors.

“Nearly 50% of endangered or threatened fish, wildlife and plants are at risk due to invasive species, which people unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses and more,” said Joanne Foreman, Invasive Species Program communications coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “But the good news is, by taking a few easy steps, everyone spending time in nature can be part of the solution.”

On every outdoor adventure remember to:

  • 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 all-terrain vehicles 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.

"PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is about more than just spreading awareness – it's about taking meaningful action to protect our environment," added Teagan Wilmot, North American Invasive Species Management Association education and prevention manager. "Together, we can make a difference and stop invasive species in their tracks."

Get involved

Several state parks across Michigan are hosting volunteer stewardship workdays during PlayCleanGo Awareness Week and are looking for help to remove invasive plants and protect important habitat. 

June 1

  • Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County) – Help remove garlic mustard that threatens to take over the high-quality forest in Haven Hill Natural Area. 
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County) – Volunteers are needed to help pull garlic mustard from the beautiful dunes.

June 2

  • Ludington State Park (Mason County)– Help protect the park from invasive plants like garlic mustard and spotted knapweed. 

June 7

  • Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson and Washtenaw counties) – Join as we team up with the local Jackson, Lenawee, Washtenaw Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area to control garlic mustard. 

June 8

  • Grand Mere State Park (Berrien County) – Volunteer stewards are needed to help protect habitat at this off-the-beaten-path park. 
  • Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County) – Help remove garlic mustard that threatens to take over this valuable woodland.

Visit the DNR’s volunteer stewardship webpage to learn more about workday details and other ways to lend a hand. 

National Trails Day

Don’t forget that Saturday, June 1, is National Trails Day – look for service opportunities on local trails and remember to PlayCleanGo to keep them safe from invasive species. Check out some amazing trails at

Post your boast!

If you’re taking part in PlayCleanGo Awareness Week by cleaning your shoes, clothes and recreational gear after you play, or if you’re participating in a volunteer event, be sure to share with friends on social media.
  • Tag PlayCleanGo in your posts to help NAISMA see who’s joining the movement with @PlayCleanGo (Facebook/Twitter) and @Play.Clean.Go (Instagram).
  • Share your PlayCleanGo story using NAISMA’s photo upload form.  
Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources.

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