Don’t Forget to Check Your Boots

$3,500 Needed

Second only to wildfires, the encroachment of invasive, non-native plant species is the greatest major threat to the health of Zion’s ecosystems. It is imperative that Zion mitigate the spread of these unwanted and harmful plants. With your help, the vegetation program seeks to implement preventative practices to reduce the chances of these species gaining a foothold and to couple these with education and outreach to visitors to teach them about the impact of these unwanted plants on park ecology and what they can do to help prevent their spread. 

Little do visitors know that cleaning their footwear helps prevent the spread of unwanted plants in Zion National Park. Most visitors are unaware of the plants in the park that are not native to the area. The Zion Vegetation Program wants to change that. The Zion Vegetation Program plans to install boot scrubbers and informative signage about the spread of non-native species at trailheads and other high-visitor use areas such as visitor centers, bike parking, and parking lots near wilderness areas. These installations will both educate visitors on best practices for mitigation and encourage action to do their part by scrubbing their boots or shoes. This prevents seeds that could be on their footwear from finding their way into the park’s scenic areas.

Zion Vegetation Program Manager Rebecca Leiberg hopes visitors will have fun in these prevention efforts and realize it‘s another great way to care for these sensitive landscapes.

“A lot of people think it’s cool to clean their boots,” she said.

With your support vegetation program staff would work with youth corps staff interns and have the resources needed to install boot scrubbers, signage, and to engage visitors in outreach and education making them aware of the importance of vegetation management in the park.

Funding for this project will make visitors aware that their actions can impact park ecology and the intern hired in conjunction with this project will help visitors recognize that even one person’s action of scrubbing his or her footwear can make a difference in preserving the park’s ecosystem. This will further promote a sense of shared stewardship for national parks among visitors. These actions will help develop a mindset to protect park resources.