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Great Lakes Center, SAMC 319
SUNY Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222

(716) 878.4708


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When humans move, we bring invasive species with us, including when we go hiking. Small seeds can get trapped in the treads of our shoes and moved to our next hiking destination to start a brand new infestation. WNY PRISM works with our partners to install boot brush stations throughout our region. Boot brush stations give hikers an easy, convenient way to help stop the spread of invasive species. Each boot brush is accompanied by a sign to help users learn about invasive species already in their local park and species that have a high risk of being introduced from nearby areas. 

Since 2016, we have worked with PlayCleanGo and local partners throughout western New York to install boot brush stations.  We supply the materials and our partner installs the boot brush station on their public property.  Boot brush stations are easy to install and will provide benefits for years to come. We currently have 48 boot brush stations installed in parks, preserves and nature centers. Check out our map below to find one near you. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

We are not currently accepting boot brush station applications. Please check back in early 2025!

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 seeds 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 inspect and clean the boot brush station of debris annually. 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 3-5 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.

How do I make a boot brush station?

While there are many methods you could use to install a boot brush station, check out our webinar on the subject, complete with instructions on how to source materials and install the station.

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.

If you have any additional questions about our Boot Brush Station Program, please contact us at wnyprism@buffalostate.edu.



Map of the boot brush stations in western New York.