The herd of goats hard at work clearing a portion of Kenna Cartwright Park of weeds has grown by two.
And the public is invited to meet the newborn twins Saturday and Sunday at the park’s Hillside Drive entrance from 9 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Kelly Johnston, the City's natural resources section leader, said the times coincide with when the goats are active in the park. The herd is given a break during the heat of the day.
“The goats lose interest in eating when it gets hot,” Johnston said Friday.
Conrad Lindblom owns the herd and oversees the operation, a City pilot project. He said the two kids were born earlier this week while the herd was at work.
Lindblom and his three herders delivered the babies and took them and the mother back to base camp.
“This is quite common for us. It isn’t new for us,” he said. “Within a day they are up and going with the herd. They’re quite active.”
The 352-goat herd is a bit behind the three-hectare-a-day schedule set by the City, said Lindblom. The toadflax and other noxious weeds are spaced further apart than anticipated, so the herd has to travel a distance between feeding.
He said the environment also proved a challenge at first. The goats aren’t used to this heat nor are they accustomed to walking across the sandy soil.
Johnston said the City is happy with Lindblom’s progress. A visual inspection revealed the weeds are being eaten with little impact on other vegetation.
“Visually, it looks good. They are doing a good job,” he said.
An official assessment of the 33-hectares set aside for the pilot project will be done when the herd departs, he said.
The project will cost $11,000 and, if it proves a success, the goats could be used to control weeds in other municipal green-spaces.