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Goats return to Ann Arbor’s Gallup Park to munch on invasive plants

Goat eating grass.
Goat eating grass. (Pixabay)

ANN ARBOR – Don’t be alarmed if you see several goats grazing in Gallup Park over the next few weeks. They’re there for a reason -- and they’re on the clock. Well, technically.

Goatscaping is an old-fashioned, eco-friendly practice to keep brush under control. Goats eat pretty much every green plant in sight, including invasive species like buckthorn and honeysuckle and even poison ivy -- don’t worry, they’re not allergic.

After last year’s successful pilot project, the goats from Twin Willow Ranch of Milan were brought back on Thursday to clear out invasive shrubbery and overgrowth.

“This is a great way to help promote native plants in our parks while, at the same time, decreasing the hours we spend on removing invasive brush," Parks and Recreation Maintenance Services Deputy Manager Scott Spooner said in a statement last season. “This is not an area where we would use an herbicide. Everything would have to be removed by cutting and pulling, and the goats enable us to use that labor in other ways."

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