Goat grazing coming to Idlewild Park this week
Natural management of invasive plants around Idlewild Park in Cranbrook will be underway starting later this week, in partnership with Vahana Nature Rehabilitation and Columbia Outdoor School.
A trip of goats from Vahana Nature Rehabilitation will be dining in three priority areas around Idlewild Lake to help manage invasive plants — an all-natural alternative to chemical or mechanical removal of weeds. The initial focus will be on the Priority 2 zone located between the new wetland area and the lake starting on Thursday, May 20.
“We call the goat grazing a new, ancient technology,” said Cailey Chase, Owner of Vahana Nature Rehabilitation. “Goats have been used for centuries to help reduce unwanted vegetation in cities. We see this as an opportunity for Cranbrook to use the eco-friendly, nature friendly goat grazing to reduce vegetation around our precious water sources that are nurseries to so many foundational parts of nature.”
Park users are asked to please watch for signage at the entrances when the goats will be on site. Dogs must always be on leash and under control at Idlewild and all city green spaces, other than the Muriel Baxter Dog Park. Avoiding these priority areas at Idlewild Park altogether with your dog during this project is strongly recommended.
This exercise could become part of a larger, longer-term project based on the results of these goat treatments. The city has been working with the Columbia Outdoor School on a larger invasive plant management strategy for Joseph Creek.
“The spread of invasive weeds can seriously affect habitat. Establishing the plan and testing effective removal techniques will help to determine the best methods for removal throughout the creek,” said Todd Hebert, Executive Director of Columbia Outdoor School. “Not only are the goats an effective removal technique, but they are pretty darn cute too!”
To learn more about Vahana Nature Rehabilitation, visit their website at www.vahana.ca. For more about the restoration projects of both Idlewild Park and Joseph Creek, visit www.restorejosephcreek.com.
City of Cranbrook