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Goats chomp on invasive species at city parks

A herd of goats are now grazing Central and Erickson city parks in Rosemount to help clean out buckthorn and garlic mustard. Submitted photo

Rosemount park visitors have been greeted with goats busy grazing and munching invasive species at two Rosemount city parks.

A herd of 24 professional plant-eating goats are now working to clean out unwanted buckthorn and garlic mustard at Central Park and Erickson Park, said Rosemount parks and recreation director, Dan Schultz.

This summer, Rosemount will host the goats in Erickson Park along the west side of Koch Trail.

Other cities like Eagan and Burnsville have hired goats to clean out invasive species plant growth on city land.

"We have taken full advantage of the fact that they eat buckthorn as one of their plants in their palette," said Jessica Braun with Minnesota Green Corps.

A double row of fencing offers protection for the goats and serves as a safeguard for the public. The electric fencing offers a mild shock to keep the goats safely inside the parkland area.

"This also keeps out any predators because there are also coyotes in this area, and we have a second layer of plastic fencing to remind families and walkers that come by not to touch the goats," Braun said. "We highly recommend that people come out and see them; however, they are not the type in a petting zoo, they are out here to do the job of eating."

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