Come Clean, Leave Clean
PlayCleanGo: Stop invasive species in your tracks.
In addition to providing a venue for outdoor recreational activities such as orienteering, the parks we visit for our events are tasked with protecting Minnesota's unique natural resources. The staff at local, regional, and state parks work hard to protect these resources, but they need a little help from each of us to prevent the spread of invasive species that can quickly degrade native plant communities.
Invasive species are plants, animals, and microorganisms that are not native to a particular area. They are also species that are capable of causing severe damage in areas outside their normal range, harming the economy, the environment, or human health once they become established.
Whether walking, hiking, running, or biking, it's important to make sure we don't accidentally move invasive species from place to place. As park users with special use permits that allow us access to off-trail areas, it's especially important that participants in Minnesota Orienteering Club events step up to prevent the spread of invasive species whether we are off-trail in parts of the park not normally visited by typical park users or we are on trails.
There are a two steps we can all take to help prevent the spread of invasive species:
Before leaving home, take time to check your gear. Remove any dirt and plant parts from your clothing, boots, gear, pet, and vehicle.
Before leaving the park, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt and plant parts. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck directly on you, your pets, or equipment or they may be embedded in soil on your gear. Remove mud or seeds in the parking lot or in maintained turf areas where infestations will be more readily observed and managed if you did happen to pick up some invasive plant seeds during your visit to the park.