In a move to push awareness of the Emerald Ash Borer, Boulder's department of Parks and Open Space is passing out informational drink coasters to bars and restaurants all over the county.
The county ordered 5,000 coasters with a picture of the invasive bug on the top of the coaster, which include information about how residents can keep the pest from spreading.
"The message we really want to drive home is, you really need to come up with a plan to deal with your ash trees before you don't have the time to make an option," said Brett Stadsvold, the county's EAB coordinator.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle that infects ash trees by laying its eggs under the bark. The larva then eat just under the bark of the tree, slowly cutting off its water and nutrient supply until the tree dies over two to four years. The dead trees become dry and brittle. They can fall over and damage property or increase the risk of wildfire in forests.
"Really, we don't want people to wait until the trees die to make a decision," Stadsvold said. "The purpose of these coasters is to try to spread the message through unconventional pathways to reach as many people as we can."
Text on the front of the coasters says "Watch Your Ash."
Stadsvold said he hopes the message on the front can hit home with the average person, which is why they chose to distribute to bars and restaurants. They also hope a little trick they intended will have people interested in the issue.
"If someone is having a beverage and their coaster happens to be underneath that beverage, they'll see the green emerald ash borer magnified through that glass," Stadsvold said.