October 28th, 2020

Goats return for another helping


By Jensen, Randy on June 5, 2020.

Barry and Marilyn Larsen and their grandchildren John, Victoria and Sarah Hayes, check out a group of goats Thursday at Alexander Wilderness Park, part of the herd that is back to help with weed control in the City parks. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

The goats are back in Lethbridge for another season of battling leafy spurge, and the City of Lethbridge couldn’t be happier about it, says Jackie Cardinal, natural resources co-ordinator with the City’s Parks department.

“The spurge is coming back much thinner (this year), which is visible, but the grasses are coming back just as vital as they did before,” she says. “Everything looks great, and you can hardly tell (the goats) were here; except the spurge flowers are about half of what they were last year, which is super exciting.”

Robert Finck, owner of Magrath-based Creekside Goat Company, said he, too, was pleased to be back after last year’s pilot project to work on reducing leafy spurge and other weeds in Alexander Wilderness Park and Indian Battle Park.

“Leafy spurge is a very invasive weed and nothing else eats it,” explains Finck. “The goats love it. They search for it, they look for it and they exclusively eat it, and we have really been able to knock back the spurge in the City’s parks.”

Finck says the public is always welcome to come down and see the goats at work, but stresses people should not approach the goats or the working dogs who are helping his herders, too closely.

“We’re not a petting zoo,” he says. “We don’t mind people coming and taking pictures and being close, but we’re not wanting people to touch the goats. They are here to work and do their job.”

The goats will be working in both parks for at least the next week, and signs and fencing are up reminding people to respect the animals’ need to work.

Creekside Goat Company will return in the fall to go through both areas again to ensure the new growth spurge can’t put down seed for next year.

Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

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