Goats added to landscaping crew at Colerain Park

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – Colerain Township has a new lawn maintenance team and we’re not kidding.

Two goat pens are now taking care of the landscaping in one corner of Colerain Park.

These four-legged lawnmowers are used to eat Japanese honeysuckle, an invasive species that can be a chore for humans to remove.

How do the goats do it? They consider it lunch.

Jackie O’Connell, director of public services for the Colerain Township, says she got the idea for the goats in the park from other similar projects in the city.

The use of goats as an alternative to chemical herbicides has gained popularity. In recent years Goebel Park in Covington has been successful in bringing goats to clear honeysuckle and other invasive species.

The endeavor is not without risk. Six goats were attacked by a dog in Spring Grove Cemetery in 2016. One of them died. Park officials say there are coyotes in the Colerain parish, although they have received no reports of any in the park.

This experiment is to see if the goats can permanently remove the honeysuckle from the park. In the course of some growing seasons, goats can eat the honeysuckle to such an extent that it dies completely from the area and does not grow back.

This process can take years, but if it goes well over the next few weeks, O’Connell hopes to bring the goats back.

This experiment is to see if the goats can permanently remove the honeysuckle from the park. In the course of some growing seasons, goats can eat the honeysuckle to such an extent that it dies completely from the area and does not grow back.

This process can take years, but if it goes well over the next few weeks, O’Connell hopes to bring the goats back.

Although the goats are cute and anyone can admire them from outside the barn, officials ask that you not try to pet them. Their fence is electrified to prevent them from getting out and park visitors from entering. The voltage is low enough to use animals as small as rabbits or chickens without injury.

The goats are given extra feed in addition to the honeysuckle, so officials ask that you don’t feed them either.

Both pens are located in the thick bushes behind the amphitheater and near the trackfield in Colerain Park.

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