Vegetation Management of the Four-Legged Variety

Visitors to Puyallup’s Bradley Lake Park may not have noticed the absence of work crews mowing and cutting back vegetation, but they would certainly notice the alternative. Instead of four-wheeled mowers, the City of Puyallup recently began using substitute vegetation control tools of the four-legged variety: goats.

Through a partnership with local vegetation management company Rent-A-Ruminant, Bradley Lake Park will play host to more than 80 goats munching their way through selected areas of the park to remove invasive plants like English ivy, scotch broom, and blackberry bushes.

Not only are goats adorable, but they offer an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered machines and herbicides and they reduce the need to have debris hauled away. Moreover, goats are able to fit into tight spots or steep inclines where conventional tools may be unable to reach and their digestive process naturally sterilizes weed seeds preventing new growth.

Throughout the process, the city invites the public to come out and enjoy Bradley Lake as usual. Rent-A-Ruminant staff will be onsite monitoring the animals, and will cordon off small patches where current vegetation clearing is taking place.

Visitors are free to watch the animals work, but they should not approach or touch the animals, and should use caution around the electric fences used to cordon off the animals. Visitors with dogs should keep their animals leashed at all times.

For more information, contact the city’s parks and recreation department at (253) 841-5561.

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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