Ottawa County Parks launched its third and final year of the Prescribed Browsing Project, a unique initiative utilizing goats to combat invasive plants. This innovative, yet simple method reduces herbicide applications, is cost-effective, and allows access to locations where mowers or machinery could otherwise not reach.
Six goats are currently at Eastmanville Bayou munching on Oriental bittersweet. This invasive plant grows and spreads rapidly and can quickly choke out native plant life. The woody invasive wraps itself around branches and trees and can eventually become so heavy that it pulls over mature trees. At Eastmanville Bayou it has taken down trees and is so prolific that it obscures the view to the river along the east trail.
The goats won't eradicate the invasive, but they push it very far back, making it more manageable to treat and remove. Plus, they love it! They have amazing digestive systems... they can even eat poison ivy.