The Naperville Park District is bringing in a new method of plant control: goats.
A herd of 45 goats will live at Knoch Knolls Park for the next four weeks to help prepare for an expansion of the area's disc golf course next spring. The goats can munch on a variety of plants, including invasive shrubs and poison ivy.
“The goats happily eat our unwanted plants,” said Project Manager Peggy Pelkonen. “There are some areas at Knoch Knolls Park that are thick with invasive species and would take a lot of man power and machinery to clear. This is a natural way to control invasive species in woodlands with less pollution.”
Park visitors are prohibited from touching the goats because of possible traces of poison ivy on their fur. While the plant isn't harmful to the animals themselves, it could easily be passed onto humans.
However, visitors are encouraged to enjoy watching the animals while they help out the park.