OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — For the second year now, goats are being used to cut down on invasive plants in parts of Ottawa County.
The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission said in a press release it’s a simple way to reduce the application of herbicides and is a cost effective way, especially in areas where mowing machinery could not reach.
Officials said the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee awarded Ottawa County Parks a grant funding an intern to care for the goats throughout the summer as well as collect scientific data. They also said the project was also funded by the nonprofit group, ‘Friends of Ottawa County Parks,’ who purchased additional fencing, giving the goats a larger area to work and requiring them to be moved less frequently.
Six young goats and two nanny goats will be placed in Bur Oak Landing, Riverside Park, and Eastmanville Bayou. They are currently at Bur Oak Landing and will be there, rotating around the park, for the next month.
Officials say anyone can visit the goats, but are advised not to touch them and to stay away from the electric fence where they are enclosed. They also say oils from the plants like poison ivy do not harm the goats, but can be transferred to humans.