July 15, 2017
A herd of 170 goats are working their way through the weeds at Rundle Park.
The noshing is part of a pilot project aimed at controlling noxious weeds in the park in a way that is environmentally friendly and effective. Canada thistle, leafy spurge, common tansy, common burdock and yellow toadflax will be targeted.
The goats are provided by Baah’d Plant Management and Reclamation. A shepherd and several well-trained herding horses and dogs will be on site 24 hours a day to guide and protect the goats.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for our City,” said Joy Lakhan, GoatWorks Project Manager. “Goats are all-terrain browsers, which makes them perfect for the diverse landscape in Rundle Park. And these goats have been trained to target key weed species, so they are ideal for sensitive areas where herbicides and many other control methods aren’t appropriate.”
The goats will be on the job until September. Periodic breaks will allow weeds to grow back, flower,and be eaten, preventing them from going to seed.
This pilot project is only one of the ways the City is working to combat noxious weeds while limiting the use of herbicides. The City uses a combination of mowing, trimming, hand pulling and biological controls to manage weeds on most parkland.
Public meet and greet events will be held in August and September; watch for more information in mid-August. Outside of these events, the public is asked not to disturb the goats.