Friday, August 28, 2009

Goats On The Payroll

Just a quick post today to because I know people are going to have questions about this. Ok, if you see a few goats in Muskoseepi park over the next while don't be surprised; they are on the city payroll.

Parks staff are running a test project to see how effective the goats are at controlling certain kinds of noxious weeks in the park. If it works this will give staff a way to control the weeds without having to resort to harsh chemicals. It's a part of what we call integrated pest management.

Check out the city media release below:

"News Release
August 27, 2009

Goats to Eat Noxious Weeds in Muskoseepi Park

The City of Grande Prairie is testing a green approach to controlling the spread of noxious weeds in the Bear Creek Corridor, starting today.

Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control was contracted to work in that area of the community using foraging goats.

“The City wants to determine if foraging goats could be a suitable control method in situations where access and environmental regulations make traditional controls difficult,” says Jim Donnelly, Integrated Pest Management Co-ordinator.

The goats will eat noxious weeds such as Tansy, Toadflax and Thistle flowers. The Weed Control Act directs the City to control noxious weeds.

“The Alberta Environment Code of Practice outlines that we can spray herbicides on a maximum of 10 per cent of any 100-square-metre area in a one to five metre strip from an open body of water,” Donnelly says. “In the location where we are doing this trial, this leaves 90 per cent of the area where I can do only mechanical control. The area above Bear Creek is not accessible to mowers.”

The goats have been used to reduce vegetation at the Nitehawk Ski Hill.

“This is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with weeds, rather than using chemicals,” says Community Services Director Felix Seiler. “It would be great if this trial determines that we can do this on a broader scale.”

Media enquiries may be directed to:
Jim Donnelly
Integrated Pest Management Co-ordinator
Parks Operations


Diane Schuller said...

I read about this last week in my Google news - a great idea!!

Still on an environmental vein, any chance you might bring something like this up at council:

Sure Calgary is a much larger city, but the principles can be applied (or some, for a starter) in GP :)

Anonymous said...

Ummm... what about the clean up after???

Sarah Shaw said...

what fabulous Idea!


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