Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation logo

Goats at Work

Skip Navigation LinksHome » Departments » Parks and Recreation » GIVE 365 » Goats at Work
 

​​​​​​​goatsatwork_cobblestone_2020.png​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​goatsatworkpicture.JPG

What the goat is going on?

Goatscaping, an old-fashioned solution to plant control, allows us to address poison ivy, overgrown brush and invasive plants in non-chemical ways. Goats will eat invasive plants like honeysuckle and buckthorn, in addition to other plants like poison ivy. 

Summer 2021

It's that time of year again where we hire the goats to help us with brush removal. Upcoming assignments:

July 1-8, Broadway Park . The Goats went to Broadway. Broadway Park that is. They were working on a poison ivy problem we've been dealing with in the dog park. 


July 8-19, Gallup Park, goat island 2. The goats went back to work at Gallup to work on clearing new growth and brush on the second island. 

July 19- August Cobblestone Farm. The goats returned to Cobblestone farm to help clear out invasive brush and overgrowth from a small wooded area near the farm.

August 13 - Burr Oak Park. The goats are currently at Burr Oak Park​ on the west side of town! The goats are helping us thin out the park's small wooded area that is densely growing with invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn, as well as poison ivy that is encroaching on the park's swingset. They will be at Burr Oak Park for around two week. 

Goat Open House! August 23; 6-7pm - Burr Oak Park. ​Twin Willow Ranch and city staff hosted a goat open house for residents to learn more about the project​, ask questions and get a closer look at the goats. Contact [email protected] or 734.794.6445 if you have any questions. 

​​​Goats in 2020

The goats were back in town for another three weeks of work in 2020! The goats arrived to Gallup on Thursday, June 11 for a quick assignment on the islands some people refer to as 'goat islands'. They departed on Monday, June 22. This winter we are starting to see the result of both goats and volunteers who have been continuing to clear out invasive shrubs to create a more inviting and pleasant island experience. 

The goats also showed up to Cobblestone Farm in the summer of 2020. They worked on the overgrown brush and invasive growth in an area between the parking lot, the farm and the entry road. 


What Happened in 2019? (view update) ​

Ten goats from Twin Willow Ranch in Milan, MI​, cleared poison ivy and buckthorn on two of Gallup's islands between June 6 and June 27, 2019​​. This pilot project is part of an ongoing effort to clear out the overgrowth and invasive shrubbery as park staff work toward a long-term maintenance plan. 

'Goatscaping', an old-fashioned solution to plant control, allows us to address poison ivy, overgrown brush, and invasive plants in non-chemical ways. Goats will eat invasive plants like honeysuckle and buckthorn, in addition to other plants like poison ivy. 

The two islands (circled below) accessible by the foot​ bridge were closed during the goat's stay.

​​

The Herd​

Click the picture below to read the goats' biographies and learn a little more about our 2019 goat team.



 

​​Update:  July 2019

​The goats have been removed from the islands and are back on their farm. In three weeks, they cleared both islands of overgrown brush, poison ivy, and invasive plants. See the before and after pictures below to see just how dramatic this change was. View these photos and more in our facebook photo album​.

 

​​​​​


 



 


 

Goat Talk & Walk Su​cc​ess!

Thank to all who attended our three Goat Talk & Walk opportunities, asked questions, and volunteered! We calculated ​195 people gave a total of 322 hours of their time to beautifying Gallup park. We mulched trees and beds, weeded garden beds, and removed old plant bulbs.  Thank you ALL for your interest in our goats and giving some of your time to our parks!​​​

​​​​​​​​​

Goat Talk & Walk Images

​​

​​​​​Next steps ​

​​Now that the goats are onto their next job, our parks department can take a clear inventory of the islands, determine how they can best be utilized by the public, and build a long-term maintenance plan. We expect some of the plants to grow back in the coming months, and it could take a few more pass-throughs, goat or human, ​to create more of a long-term impact.


​Additional Resources

Pilot Program Fact Sheet

Pres​​​​​s Release


 

Goats in the News

"Weeds got your goat? These goats will get your weeds" Novi Patch

"New York City park welcomes goats for weed eating" CBS News

"Goats are in charge of getting rid of poison ivy in this city" Associated Press​​

"Boston deploys goats against poison ivy in Hyde Park" ​Boston Globe

"Goats sink their teeth into poison ivy problem" USA Today

Goat helps with golf course maintenance [video] ​USA Today Sports

​Contact Information

Give 365 | [email protected] | (734) 794-6445

Erika Pratt, ​Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator​ | [email protected]g | ​(734) 794-6445