Goats graze Ames park to prevent overgrowth

The Ames Parks and Recreation Department recently partnered with the Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park for targeted grazing application.

The 3.5 acres of land on the Ada Hayden property was manicured June 28 by goats to help prevent overgrowth of non-native vegetation, such as honeysuckle and poison ivy. The first targeted grazing was conducted in May, according to a press release.

Aaron Steele, co-founder of Goats on the Go, gave a presentation on the benefits of using goats to naturally landscape and control pests.

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park is hoping the goats will help restore Oak Savanna.

“Biological control of invasive plants is a challenge, but we are hopeful that the goats will be able to assist in the restoration of the Oak Savanna,” Erv Klaas, a local ecologist and a Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park board member, said in a press release.

The city will continue this targeted grazing each if the process continues to show improvements. 

“The City of Ames is grateful to the Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park in their sponsorship of the targeted grazing that will take place, as well as their conservation efforts and support throughout the entire park,” Joshua Thompson, parks and facilities superintendent, said.

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