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Forget Lawn Mowers! Weed-Eating Goats Save Louisville Park From Invasive Plants.

goats at park

Why mow your lawn when you can just have goats do it for you? Cuter and better for the environment! While that might not quite be accessible as an option to everyone, one park has started an adorable initiative to help keep invasive plants at bay without using pesticides or chemicals!

Iroquois Park in Louisville, Kentucky has employed a team of goats for their plant-control needs. These weed-eating wonders are working tirelessly to protect the park’s biodiversity and create a sustainable environment.This project is possible through a partnership between Kentucky State University, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and Capstone Farms.

goats eating weeds

Iroquois Park boasts a crucial ecosystem teeming with bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. The park serves as an important stopover for migratory species. “We’ve got tons of animals that see this as a bright glowing green oasis,” notes Liz Winlock, Conservancy Project Manager for Olmsted Parks. However, this delicate ecosystem faces constant threats from invasive plants, such as poison ivy, that disrupt the natural balance.

To combat the invasive plant problem and preserve the biodiversity of Iroquois Park, a partnership was formed between Kentucky State University, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and Capstone Farms. Their goal was to assess different strategies for managing the park’s land and find the most effective solution. 

invasive plants

Enter the goats – a team of 26 diligent and hungry goats from Capstone Farms.

Goats may seem like unlikely heroes, but their voracious appetites and unique digestive systems make them ideal for the task at hand. 

“A lot of folks we work with will say, ‘dude why are we even paying you?’ Them goats ain’t doing nothing,” described David Neville, a goat farmer with Capstone Farms. “Then they come back three or four days later and say, ‘Man, them goats has done a lot.'”

These herbivores have a remarkable ability to consume and digest a wide variety of plants, including invasive species that are hard for humans to eradicate. 

goats eat weeds at park

The goats have done a wonderful job at clearing the vegetation efficiently. “They’ve done a fantastic job,” Liz notes, adding with a chuckle. “They leave a little fertilizer down on the ground for us.”

As they munch their way through the vegetation, they leave behind a natural fertilizer – goat droppings. 

The project has even positively impacted other parks! Because the goats have garnered considerable attention,the project has inspired other communities and organizations to consider similar approaches. 

The success of the goat brigade at Iroquois Park serves as a shining example of how we can implement innovative and sustainable land management strategies. As the goats graze their way through invasive plants, they leave behind a flourishing ecosystem that attracts bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. If other parks take their example follow in suit, we can create a brighter and greener future for all.

group of goats eat weeds at park

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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