Boulder County recently installed boot brush stations at trailheads to encourage hikers, volunteers, and Parks & Open Space workers to brush off their boots when entering and exiting trails. The boot brush stations mitigate the spread of invasive and unwanted plant species, promoting conservation, environmental protection, and biodiversity.
Preventing the spread of noxious weeds from one place to the next is difficult, but it is an easy way to reduce weeds. In Boulder County, cheatgrass, common teasel, common mullein, musk thistle, and Dalmatian toadflax are only a few of the most problematic weeds. These plants easily spread their seeds from our hiking boots. Noxious weeds have prolific seed bearing to out-compete plants deer eat, overshadow tree seedlings turkeys feed on, and damage the biodiversity hikers enjoy.
The boot brush stations are located at the trailheads of Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain, Heil Valley Ranch, and Hall Ranch. Boot brushing isn’t just for Parks & Open Space trails either.
Invasive plants threaten our backcountry areas as well. Inspecting your clothes and pet’s paws and fur also helps stop the spread of invasive seeds. It only takes a few moments to brush your boots and check your clothes and pets to keep our lands diverse and healthy.