Goats used to eliminate weeds in B.C. pilot project
Published Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:03PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 14, 2012 10:28PM EDT
Forget the traditional means of ridding your lawn of weeds.
Park officials in Kamloops B.C. are turning to goats to help get a handle on invasive species, such as knotweed, that can quickly take over the natural landscape.
“Really the only way to get rid of this plant is to actually use herbicide,” Jennifer Grenz of the invasive species council told CTV News.
While the yellow blooms of the Dalmatian toadflax may look attractive, Mike Winkel of the Kamloops Parks Department said the weed can quickly become a nuisance.
“It'll out-compete some of the natural species in the park,” he said.
In an effort to help local residents get back to nature, the City of Kamloops hasstarted a pilot project in which a team of goats leads the charge against the invasive weeds that find their way into public parks.
Armed with their appetites and a digestive system that will kill any seeds that are excreted, the heard from northern Alberta may solve, or at least slow down, the region’s weed problems.
The goats are tasked with feasting on toadflax.
Head herder and owner of Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control Conrad Lindblom said it’s important to keep the goats on task.
“We don’t want to just turn them loose because then they’ll just eat anything,” he said. “We want to keep them just in the area where the weeds are.”
Park officials are mulling over the idea of using goats to rid other regions of invasive weeds.
Coun. Heather Deal of the City of Vancouver said a region-wide invasive species plan is in the works.
“It’s a very good idea,” she said. “Plants don’t recognize municipal boundaries so we need to make sure we’re working together.”
Deal, a professional biologist and environmental educator, said that the city is looking at the least invasive way of getting rid of weeds, which means limiting the use of herbicides.
With a report from CTV’s Vancouver Bureau Chief Sarah Galashan