In an effort to continue to fight the noxious weeds in El Paso County that destroy biological diversity, decrease forage and increase erosion potential the El Paso County Community Services Department Parks Operations and Environmental Divisions worked together to install boot brush stations at two EL Paso county trailheads. Boot brushes are at the Baptist Road Trailhead for New Sante Fe Trail and the Orion Drive Trailhead for Bear Creek Regional Park.
“The stations were installed to help educate trail users about invasive species as they clean their boots and shoes,” said Kathy Andrew, Environmental Division Manager.
Each sign identifies the most problematic noxious weeds that can be found along the adjoining trail and in the area. The purpose of the device is similar to other environmental cleaning best management practices, such as only using local firewood and inspecting boats for non-native organisms prior to entering and exiting the water.
“These Boot brush stations give hikers an easy, convenient way to help stop the spread of invasive species,” Andrew said.
The stations are placed at trailheads, allowing individuals to remove mud, seeds and other material from boots both before and after their hike. This act of swiping one’s feet helps to stop the establishment of noxious weeds.
Shoes, clothing, equipment, and animals can carry the seeds of invasive plants. El Paso County encourages everyone to do their part by brushing off shoes, clothing, backpacks, hooves, and paws before entering and leaving the area.
El Paso County teamed up with The Colorado Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Program on this collaborative “Play, Clean, Go” boot brush station project effort.