What is one of the most common ways for invasive plants to spread along trails to backcountry hiking areas? On our shoes! Tiny seeds can travel in soil found on the bottom of our hiking boots and gear. Using something as simple as a boot brush station to clean footwear before and after a hike can limit the spread of invasive species like garlic mustard that can quickly outcompete native species, shifting the balance of woodland ecosystems. At a time when hikers are stepping aside to allow for safe social distancing on trails, being aware of what we carry into the woods is more important than ever.
APIPP hopes that boot brush stations can be installed across the Adirondacks to help slow the spread of invasive species at popular recreation spots and campgrounds. To help make this possible, our team is offering design assistance, downloadable templates, and assembly instructions to bring more boot brush stations to a trailhead near you. If you are a resource, manager, non-profit, volunteer association, community group, park professional, or government agency - contact Emily-Bell Dinan, APIPP Education & Communications Coordinator today!