Forest Health Protection Program: Stopping Invasives in their Tracks

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

With support from the Forest Health Protection program of the USDA Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry is achieving goals outlined in Minnesota’s Forest Action Plan.

Minnesota’s invasive outreach campaign PlayCleanGo (PCG) is informing people and organizations about the best way to disrupt the spread of terrestrial invasive species.

The invasive species outreach and prevention campaign received two, three-year competitive USDA Forest Service grants, one in 2008 to identify outreach needs through social research and one to launch in 2012 the branded campaign “PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks”.

Since its launch, more than 130 public and private partners have adopted PCG as their invasive species outreach campaign with fun, accessible, consistent prevention messaging to disrupt the link between outdoor recreation and the spread of terrestrial invasive species. 

“The PlayCleanGo outreach campaign has greatly increased our ability to engage recreationists in prevention measures that protect our forests,” said Forrest Boe, State Forester.

In three years, PCG has garnered 130 partner organizations including the North American Invasive Species Management Association. In two years of social media, PCG has created 12.8 million impressions, 147.8 thousand actions (clicks, likes or shares) and 12.5 thousand YouTube viewings.  

PCG has hosted two annual PlayCleanGo Days events at 13 park locations, three state fair events and booths at 12 sportsmen shows. At these events, volunteers speak to more than 20,000 visitors about the simple steps they can take to prevent the spread of invasive species in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Federal funds allowed the campaign to hire a marketing firm to guide the advertising campaign and paid for the development of PCG social media and print materials.

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