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Goats return to graze on invasive weeds at Calgary’s McHugh Bluff

Goats graze at McHugh Bluff in Calgary in an effort to control weeds and support habitat restoration work. facebook.com/cityofcalgary

Grazing goats can once again be spotted at Calgary’s McHugh Bluff this month.

It’s the fourth year in a row that a herd of about 200 goats will be used to control weeds and help support habitat restoration work in the area.

The City of Calgary utilizes the goats for targeted grazing, saying it’s an environmentally friendly way to help manage invasive weeds (like Canada thistle, yellow clematis and creeping bellflower) without affecting the native plants they wish to keep.

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The goats will graze at McHugh Bluff from July 15-25, 2021.

While they’re working, the city asks citizens to keep a safe distance from the herd and give them and their shepherd space to do their job.

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Dog owners are reminded to keep their four-legged friends leashed in on-leash areas.

“There will be herding dogs working off-leash who are trained to protect the goats and can become protective of the herd,” the city said in a Facebook post. “There will also be two horses with the herd.”

Cyclists in the area are asked to slow down when travelling along the pathway through the park.

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The city is also asking people not to feed the goats as they will have “plenty of noxious weeds and other vegetation” to munch on.

Lastly, the city says the grazing goats are best viewed from a short distance away or can be seen in their pen at their camp at the east end of the park.

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