City Of Fayetteville Using Goats To Remove Poison Ivy At Wilson Park

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The City of Fayetteville has brought in a team of goats Tuesday (June 23) so they can eat their way through invasive plants at Wilson Park.

The goats are owned by Connie Rieper-Estes and play a major role in her company called “Greedy Goats.”

“The goats love to do this work," she said. "They are the happiest yard crew you will ever see."

Rieper-Estes said she volunteered her services to the Fayetteville Parks And Recreation Department, after the goats ate all the invasive plants on her own property.

“I needed to go find more for my goats to eat,” Rieper-Estes said. “We brought the goats here to fight the invasive plant species that the park is having a lot of trouble with.”

Fayetteville’s Volunteer and Community Programs Coordinator Kristina Jones said the goats are a new method of clearing the park.

“We are looking for new ways to tackle that problem,” Jones said. “[The goats are] another way of taking care of plants that are troublesome to people.”

The goats at Wilson Park will eat roughly 500 square feet worth of plants per day, most of which are poison ivy.

“Goats are the natural predator to poison ivy. They love it,” Rieper-Estes said. “It doesn’t hurt them one bit. It is like candy to them.”

According to Rieper-Estes, using the goats is a fun, cheap, and environmentally friendly way to handle the invasive plants. As for the city, using the goats also eliminated the man hours required to remove the same plants.

“For humans, it is really quite a chore for us to get in there and hack away, and clear out all this vegetation,” Rieper-Estes said.

Which is why, if the experiment goes well, the city said they would be interested in hosting the goats in other parks.

“We really hope it goes well,” Jones said.

The goats will be at the park from June 23 – July 3 and will be out during the day from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. working away behind an electric fence.

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