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part of NAISMA’s PlayCleanGo program

As a resource professional you see firsthand what invasive species can do to the landscape, so it is important that you remain vigilant in your own prevention actions. You and the work that you do as an outdoor professional play a crucial role to the success of biodiversity and reducing the spread of invasive species. 

The work that you’re conducting on the landscape presents numerous pathways for spreading invasive species. Below, you’ll find ways to prevent invasive species from spreading to the spaces and places you love and care for.

What work do you do outside? Scroll to find them — and see how you can prevent the spread of invasive species:


Construction workers are on the forefront of invasive species establishment.

When the ground is disturbed or changed to make way for a new project, invasive plants can take hold and spread quickly to nearby properties. These workers can make a major difference by learning about invasive plants that may appear, how they spread, and what they can do about it. A few small precautions can help prevent small patches of new weeds from becoming massive problems in schoolyards, parks, and gardens.

Prevention Steps

  • Use only weed-free soil, gravel, hay, mulch or other material on sites.
  • Use a brush or hand tool to clean mud from footwear and equipment; a pressure washer is even better.
  • Use certified native seed for revegetation since invasive plants spread quickly on disturbed soil with increased sunlight.
  • Watch for invasive species as part of everyday operations.


As stewards of the land, farmers are closely connected to the natural world and are in a great position to observe changes. Invasive species, particularly noxious weeds, pose a significant threat to agriculture investments. Many agriculturalists take precautions to minimize the number of invasive species in and near their fields, which helps contain their spread. 

Prevention Steps

  • Learn about your area’s invasive plants, pests, and animals. Report sightings to county extension agents or EDDMapS.
  • Use a wide variety of control methods before choosing pesticides.
  • Plant native borders and buffer strips as habitat for native predators.
  • Learn from others in your field and then share your knowledge. Make your farm a place to learn.
  • Feed your horses certified weed free hay, and clean their hair and hooves to prevent spreading seeds.


Plant growers and sellers work in the tricky business of selecting appropriate garden and landscape plants. When garden plants escape into the wild and “naturalize,” that’s when they can be a problem. In fact, many invasive species were originally ornamental plants planted on purpose. Responsible growers stay informed on new research to track species that need to be regulated, and they play an important role in teaching us what to choose for our gardens!

Prevention Steps

  • Whether you work in gardens or aquariums, do not sell or purchase plants known to be invasive species. Ensure all employees are educated about invasive plants.
  • Encourage native plants and plants less susceptible to invasive pests.
  • Engage researchers to share knowledge of invasive species and new updates on regulations.
  • Help educate clients as much as possible to prevent the spread.

Road Crews

pipeline workers with "Work. Clean. Go" text over gold background
Get posters like this one for your job sites and break rooms on our Outreach Freebies page.

Transportation workers and road crew members often run into invasive species since they tend to establish and spread along ditches and roadways. Since road crews know their land, they have become invaluable in reporting differences in the landscape caused by invasive plants. 

Prevention Steps

  • Invite local conservation groups to teach crews about identifying and reporting invasive plants.
  • Use a brush or hand tool to clean mud from footwear and equipment; a pressure washer is even better.
  • Plan work activities to progress from the least to most infested sites.
  • Make looking for invasives part of your regular day-to-day operations.
  • Plan mowing around seed drops.
  • Share our quick Work.Clean.Go. for Right of Ways video.