Managers Volunteers Partners

Boot Brush Station Program

Each year we work with partners to install more boot brush stations in western New York. We supply the materials while our partners install the sign on their public property. These signs educate trail users about invasive species and their effects and also serve to prevent the movement and spread of invasive species along trails and into sensitive areas. They are easy to install and will provide benefits for years to come.

We are currently accepting applications for WNY PRISM’s 2020 Boot Brush Station Program. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 1, 2020.

See our program flyer for more information and apply directly on our website.

Boot Brush Station installed at Buckhorn Island State Park. Photo Credit: NYS OPRHP

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a boot brush station?

Boot brush stations are a great way to educate people about invasive species and prevent their spread. Users are encouraged to use the boot brush portion of the station to remove mud, dirt and seed debris from their boot treads while they read the attached sign about nearby invasive species. These stations are installed in natural areas, usually at trailheads or near visitor centers.

How does installing one help stop the spread of invasive species?

As hikers walk through the forest, their shoes can pick up the seeds of invasive species which often line the edges of trails. If shoes are not properly cleaned before and after each adventure, they can transport invasive species to a new area and start a new infestation. Boot brush stations give hikers the reminder and opportunity to remove hitchhikers from their boots, which can prevent the introduction of invasive species to your park or natural area.

Do boot brush stations actually prevent new infestations of invasive species?

While we can’t prove a non-invasion, we can examine the seeds found around boot brush stations to give us an idea of the species being carried on boot treads. A research project done in southern Illinois sampled the dirt mounds created around the boot brush stations and found 39 different species, 14 of which were exotic plant species. Visit PlayCleanGo’s website for more information.

What kind of maintenance is required?

We require that our partners clean the boot brush station of debris semiannually. The boot brush bristles will also need to be replaced as they become worn. This varies greatly by use and trail condition, but is recommended every 2-5 years. WNY PRISM purchases the initial Original Scrusher Boot Brush for use with the boot brush station, but it is the responsibility of our partners to purchase replacement brushes. These are available through multiple online vendors for a nominal price.

What do the signs look like?

Though species and logos vary depending on our partners’ needs, we use the template below for all of our boot brush signs.

Where are boot brush stations already installed?

See below for a map of the boot brush stations in western New York.

If you have any additional questions about our Boot Brush Station Program, please contact Emily Thiel at [email protected].