Play, Clean, Go 

Invasive species are often spread accidentally by people traveling from place to place, often recreationally. For example, the infamous Emerald Ash Borer (pictured) was literally carried across Michigan by transported firewood, which led to a decline in Michigan's native ash tree population. According to the Play, Clean Go invasive species Initiative, you should always do the following after outdoor recreational activities:  

  • Remove plants, animals & mud from boots, gear, pets & vehicle.

  • Clean your gear before entering & leaving the recreation site.

  • Stay on designated roads & trails.

  • Use certified or local firewood & hay. 

For more information and resources, visit Play, Clean, Go's official website:


Buy Native Plants

Many invasive plants that are harmful to the environment or destructive were originally planted as landscaping and wildlife plants. Examples of this include knotweed, Japanese barberry, autumn olive, and non-native honeysuckle. These plants can quickly take over and displace native vegetation, harming wildlife habitat and forming dense, unmanageable stands. Knotweed, once unfortunately popular as a landscaping plant, is even capable of growing through concrete structures, such as building foundations and roads! Buying native mitigates the chance of any harmful plant species leaving your property and causing damage to the surrounding area, and is actually beneficial to local wildlife. 

Go Beyond Beauty is a native plant species campaign based out of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network in Traverse City to encourage plant nurseries, landscapers and homeowners to buy and plant native species. To learn more about this effort and find a list of local vendors that sell native plants in this program, visit the Go Beyond Beauty program website: