Could Parks Use Goats For Maintenance?
Park Board member floats idea of using the ruminants to attack buckthorn and other invasives.
According to a report in the Star-Tribune, Southwest Minneapolis' representative on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is pitching the notion of an unusual, four-legged method of buckthorn control in the city's parks.
(Brad) Bourn said in an interview that he heard about the idea from a parks staffer, who said it could be used to combat invasive plants like Buckthorn. "It sounded like …an interesting idea to try when they talked about it," Bourn said. "So I just wanted to get some more information on it."
The idea has been a popular in other places like Madison, WI. The university there has used goats to clear buckthorn and other invasive plants from a hillside, leaving visiting children delighted with the free petting zoo and residents of nearby buildings glued to their windows. Its proponents told University of Wisconsin-Madison's news service that the goats also offered a "smaller ecologial 'hoof-print.'"
So could we soon see the cheering fans of summer 5K races around Lake Harriet be accompanied by the bleats of goats roaming Roberts Bird Sanctuary, where buckthorn has been a problem in the past?
Probably not. Other Park Board members seem to be cool to the idea, the Star-Tribune reports.