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Upcoming Goat Grazing in Nose Hill Park

By October 11, 2022December 9th, 2022No Comments
Calgary Parks would like to share information on upcoming goat grazing in Nose Hill Park.
 
Project Details: A herd of 260 goats will graze in the 40-hectare Rubbing Stone Hill Natural Parkland Zone of Nose Hill for 30 days, beginning October 13/14, 2022, when most vegetation has entered dormancy. The goat herd will be monitored and managed by a professional shepherd and highly trained herding dogs which will be on site 24/7. To ensure safety of the herd livestock and the public, physical interaction between the animals and the public is not permitted.
 
Program Ambassadors will be on site at Nose Hill Rubbing Stone Hill (6465 14 St NW, North of the 64th Ave Nose Hill parking lot) during specific days and times to educate the public on the value of targeted grazing.
 
Goal: The primary purpose of this project is to initiate a multi-year grazing program on Nose Hill in the Rubbing Stone Hill Natural Parkland Zone.
 
The program has the following objectives:
1. To remove excess vegetation.
2. Reduce volume of dead vegetation to reduce fire fuel load.
3. To improve biodiversity.
4. To reduce invasive species encroachment into the Rubbing Stone Hill Natural Parkland Zone.
5. To control noxious weeds, primarily Canada thistle.
 
Questions and Considerations:
 
Why goat grazing? Since 2016, The City has had great success in using goats to help manage invasive weeds like Canada thistle. The City is committed to controlling weeds and pests in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and when possible, will use natural control methods like grazing. Targeted grazing supports habitat restoration work by allowing native vegetation to grow, which encourages healthy wildlife habitat and improves biodiversity.
 
How do costs compare to chemical herbicide? Goat grazing is a chemical-free way to control weeds, with project costs close to that of conventional herbicide application.
 
How do we usually manage weeds in this park?
The City of Calgary is committed to controlling weeds in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We typically use a combination of mechanical (hand pulling) and chemical control methods to manage weeds.
 
What if an animal gets away? A professional shepherd is managing the herd along with trained dogs. The shepherd is highly trained and will ensure the herd stays together.
 
Won’t the goat droppings be messy? Goat waste fertilizes the soil, adding valuable nutrients and contributing to a healthy environment. Goat droppings are small, dry, and will easily work into the ground.
Sean Chu

Sean Chu

SEAN CHU Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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