For Immediate Release
June 18, 2015
Contact: Kristina Jones
Volunteer & Community Programs Coordinator
Parks & Recreation
Goats Utilized for Invasive Species Removal at Wilson Park
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The City of Fayetteville has partnered with Greedy Goats of Northwest Arkansas to clear invasive plants in the southwest corner of Wilson Park from June 23 - July 3, or earlier if the area is cleared quickly. Goats will be onsite munching poison ivy, honeysuckle, privet, and other invasive species every day during this time period from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except Sunday, June 28. A temporary electric fence will be erected to help safely contain the goats, and their owners will be onsite while the goats are present. The fence will display cautionary signage and be surrounded by a secondary orange construction fence as an additional safety buffer.
In 2014, volunteers with Fayetteville’s Adopt-A-Park program spent approximately 1,400 hours removing invasive plants from Fayetteville park lands. Fayetteville is increasing efforts to remove these plants in response to concerns about the rapid spread of invasive species which brings harm to the ecosystem by choking out native plants and reducing the insect and animal habitat that naturally occurs in these areas. As well as creating poor habitat, the spread of invasive plants reduces the amount of usable space in Fayetteville’s park system.
Invasive species removal is time and labor intensive, so the City is seeking innovative ways to stop the proliferation of these plants. Goats, allowed to graze in one location for a two week period per 2014’s Urban Agriculture Ordinance, are an ecological and efficient alternative to the intensive removal currently performed by volunteers.
Other Fayetteville efforts to address invasive plants include a City Council resolution passed on May 5, 2015, directing City staff to work with a stakeholder group to study the need for a City-wide invasive species policy.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department, including the Adopt-A-Park program and ways to help reduce invasive species, please contact Kristina Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org.