The town of Edmonton, in Canada, has come up with a brilliant way to control the weeds in the city parks, without the use of harmful herbicides—they are using goats.
Over four hundred goats have been employed to take care of the city’s weed problem, while at the same time bringing a little bit of farm life along with them. Having been let loose in July, the goats took their job seriously, as they started munching down on the invasive weed is known as leafy spurge, which had gotten out of control in the parks.
Jeanette Hall, appointed “shepherd” at Baah’d Plant Management and Reclamation spoke about the invasive plant. The weed species form a bunch of several yellow flowers. Hall stated “the whole park was yellow” having been taken over by the weeds.
Having banned any use of herbicide in the city parks in 2015, it wasn’t long before Edmonton hit upon the goat based project in 2017. The “Goatworks” program is an alternative to using harmful chemicals to combat the ever-growing weed problems around the cities parks.,
Joy Lahkan, the cities goat coordinator, stated:
“The fact that we give an environmentally conscious alternative to the use of herbicides, I think that is something really amazing that is about this project.”
The city stated that the use of goats was really the perfect choice. They can handle all types of terrain, and with their unique digestive track, the germination of some plants is reduced. Of course, the fact that their appetite is all but insatiable, it is estimated one goat can eat up to ten pounds of weeds in a day—if not more. Goats are also tolerant of most weeds, as well as those that might prove harmful to other animals.
The goats are scheduled to return to the parks at least two more times, and it is hoped that the program will be an ongoing process. It is really up to the goats, and how good a job they can perform.