Street-Sweeper Brushes Recycled as Bison Backscratchers
Bison just can't seem to pass up a good back scratch. Their zest for rubbing against any vertical object is legendary, having resulted in many a toppled telegraph pole in the early days of America's settlement west. Today, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and the City of Aurora, Colorado, have teamed up to provide the refuge's bison herd with perfect rubbing posts: worn-out street-sweeping brushes.
Aurora maintenance officials go through about 120 street sweeping brushes a year. Instead of sending them to the local landfill, they have been giving them away to folks looking to provide their horse, llamas, or other livestock with scratching posts. Now the national wildlife refuge bison are in luck.
The refuge has scattered 10 circular scrub brushes scattered throughout its 1,460 acres, secured upright with the help of Boy Scouts. Five feet in diameter and made up of stiff plastic bristles, the brushes are proving strong enough to withstand repeated, vigorous rubbings by the bison, the largest of which weigh some 1,500 pounds.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located 11 miles outside of downtown Denver. In addition to the bison herd, the refuge is home to prairie dogs deer, coyotes, burrowing owls, and bald eagles.