For the first time, the City of Saint Paul is using goats to control spread of invasive species
SAINT PAUL – Thirty goats were delivered this afternoon at Indian Mounds Regional Park in Saint Paul, kicking off the city’s new, environmentally friendly initiative of using goats to reduce the spread of invasive species in regional parks along the Mississippi River. The goats will eat unwanted plants along the bluff edges and roam inside fenced-in sections of the parks while being monitored daily by caretakers from their farm. The goats at Indian Mounds Regional Park were provided by Goat Dispatch, a Minnesota company that provides goats for land management.
“This unique approach is a great way to control invasive species near the Mississippi River,” said Adam Robbins, environmental coordinator with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources section. “Goats are the ideal animals to help us naturally manage weedy vegetation. They can navigate steep bluff-edge terrain and are light on the land. And, they target both herbaceous and woody invasive plants.”
“We’re very excited to launch this new program in our riverfront parks,” said Saint Paul Councilmember Jane Price. “The history and wildlife along the Mississippi is important to the neighborhoods near the riverfront and the city as a whole. Using goats is a safe, natural way to protect and restore parkland.”
This effort is led through a partnership between Saint Paul’s Great River Passage initiative and Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources Section, which are facilitating an environmentally friendly, multi-year approach to ensure that natural plants are able to flourish along the Mississippi River. The goats are scheduled to return next year, and the city is considering other conversation strategies, such as a controlled burn, in 2019.
CONTACT: Clare Cloyd