The Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) welcomes to Wascana Centre more than 200 goats trained to nibble through invasive weeds. Back for a second year, the number of goats increased from last year, allowing them to graze larger areas. Each goat eats about 10 pounds of weeds daily.
The public is welcome to see the goats while they are hard at work in the park from May 24 through June 1, but are asked to avoid the electrified fences and keep all dogs on a leash to not distract the shepherd dogs supporting their work.
“We are pleased to welcome a herd of 200 local Saskatchewan goats to enjoy our tasty weeds,” Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Don McMorris said. “This represents a 100 per cent year over year increase of goats in Wascana Centre. Goat grazing allows us to reduce the spread of invasive plants without the use of chemical herbicides and machinery.”
The goats are local, making the trek from Elbow, Saskatchewan, with handlers from No Kidding Weed Management. Shepard Florentine Maathius will stay onsite with the herd. The team also includes a loyal guard sheepdog and two Border Collie herding dogs.
The grazing happens in two phases to assist in weed removal. The current phase limits the invasive weeds’ initial growth and the second grazing in early August targets those same weeds before they go to seed. The goal once the weeds are reduced is to return the area to its natural prairie grasses which include, Canada wildrye, rough fescue and green needle grass.
The Provincial Capital Commission is committed to environmental stewardship through innovation and educational opportunities. The goat grazing project in Wascana Centre will ensure it remains a thriving natural oasis in an urban setting for generations.