The weed-eating goats of St. Paul have been moved to a new high-profile location where they will gnaw away for the next month.
“Goats at work” signs went up last week along Shepard Road near the I-35E interchange. Since May, the goats had been at Indian Mounds Regional Park.
The 30 goats are part of the city’s environmentally friendly effort to reduce invasive species. The goats are agile, able to easily maneuver the rocky, steep terrain near the Mississippi River. They enjoy eating brushy, woody plants such as the invasive buckthorn.
This is the first time St. Paul has used the goats. The animals come from Faribault-based Goat Dispatch — as noted in a large sign near the feeding zone.
After this stint at Crosby Farm Regional Park, the goats will go back to Indian Mounds, then return to Crosby before packing it in for the winter.
At Crosby, the goats can be seen from passing cars when they’re working the top of the hill. Onlookers are common along the fence line, but the goats can’t be petted. They are safely behind a locked, double fence that includes an electric line.
There was an incident soon after the goats started working for the city when one friendly goat, Gordy, was briefly kidnapped by vandals. The men were arrested after a police chase and the goat was driven safely home to Faribault.
The state Department of Natural Resources is funding the goat work through the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program.
The goats set hoofs in Crosby last Thursday. The grazing site is an area bound by Shepard, Crosby Lake, Homer Street and Elway Street. There is a parking area for those who want to take a peek.