Goats battle unwanted brush at Wascana Lake
The Wascana Centre Authority is using some of nature's weed wackers to deal with overgrown caragana shrubs near Wascana Lake.
Forty goats have been brought into the Habitat Conservation Area to deal with the unwanted brush. In 2009, the eight-foot tall caraganas were cut down using mowers, but have now grown back. In partnership with the Friends of the Wascana Marsh, the centre chose to go with a more natural method this time.
"Goats are actually browsers," explained Jared Clarke, the Wascana Centre Authority's Naturalist, "so that means that they actually prefer shrubs and trees over grass." That's what makes goats the ideal animal for this project.
From August 17-20, the goats will graze throughout the conservation area. Clarke explained that once the goats have eaten enough in one place, their pen will be moved to a new area. The goats will have 24-hour supervision by volunteers, and be kept in an electric fence to make sure they don't wander away.
"If it's successful on all facets," said CEO Bernadette McIntyre, "then we will look at doing it three or four times next year."
The public is welcome to watch the weed-eating goats Saturday afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.