What do you call a goat on a hill? A hillbilly. All jokes aside, that's exactly what residents will see in Cottonwood Park over the next few weeks.
The City of Lethbridge is testing the use of goats this fall to manage vegetation around paths in Cottonwood Park that can't be mechanically mowed. This is a pilot to determine if an ongoing program in the river valley is feasible next year.
Municipalities like the City of Calgary have successfully used goats to control invasive weeds and manage vegetation in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. This approach to managing the natural landscape in our parks comes from the Lethbridge River Valley Parks Master Plan, which was approved in 2017.
The 200 goats are managed by a herder and dogs that are trained to move and protect the goats from predators. Although the herd dogs are friendly toward people, residents are reminded to keep dogs out of the area and not to pet the herd dogs while they are working.
The goat program is expected to wrap-up in a few weeks depending on weather. If the pilot is successful, goats may become a more common tool used to manage invasive weeds in the river valley next year.
To learn more about this program, visit www.lethbridge.ca/goats.
Jackie Cardinal, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator
City of Lethbridge