Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign Highlights from 2017
(by Shantell Frame-Martin, Coordinator, Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign)
It’s all fun & games!
The Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign (MNWEC) designs innovative and exciting educational materials. “Weed Jeopardy” and “PlayCleanGo: Noxious or Native?” are two interactive games that were created this past year. Each game encourages the use of critical thinking, problem solving, and weed identification skills. While playing “Weed Jeopardy,” participants answer questions in five different categories (see photo, right). Participants earn points for
correct answers, and prizes are awarded according to how many questions were answered correctly. This game works well for booths at a trade show or county fair.
“PlayCleanGo: Noxious or Native?” emphasizes the importance of clean gear and equipment. Ideal for outdoor events, this game divides participants into two teams. Teams choose a "runner" and a "writer," the rest of the students are "identifiers." Runners race to retrieve a numbered, bagged plant from the mock recreationist, which represents someone who didn’t clean his gear and equipment after recreating (see photo, left). Once retrieved, the bagged plant must be identified as noxious or native, and the writer then records the correct name of the plant on a worksheet. The game is over when one group has collected all the bagged plants from its recreationist. Participants then discuss the outcome of the game and why it is important to clean gear and equipment.
Adopt a Trailhead Montana
Adopt a Trailhead Montana (AATM) is a program designed to help protect Montana’s trails and backcountry from noxious weeds by engaging volunteer civic groups and organizations. This program kicked off in 2015 with the first kiosk installed in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area outside of Missoula, Montana. In 2016, there were 11 kiosks installed, and in 2017 there were 25 installed, for a three-year total of 37 kiosks located across 16 Montana counties! Cooperators include: Lolo National Forest, Madison Ranger District, Red Lodge Ranger District, City of Livingston, Selway-Pintler Back Country Horsemen (BCH), Missoula BCH, Cabinet BCH, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, Beaverhead Trails Coalition, Blackfoot Challenge, Montana Wilderness Foundation-Southwestern Wildlands Chapter, Montana Department of Agriculture, City of Helena, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Butte Bureau of Land Management Field Office (BLM), and Dillon BLM.
2017 in numbers
Each year, the MNWEC strives to provide outreach and education to its ten very diverse target audiences across Montana. 2017 was a busy year! The MNWEC was present at 33 events for direct contact with 2,634 people.
If you’d like more information about noxious weed educational resources or AATM, contact Shantell at: [email protected] or 406-328-4785 or visit: WeedAwareness.org