21.10.2019

Standley Lake Regional Park Turns To Goats For Weed Mitigation

By Jeff Todd

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Normally it is a hotspot for boating, fishing and camping, but for the next few weeks, Standley Lake Regional Park in Westminster has some extra attractions.

“Our priority is to preserve and protect high water quality. One way we do that is with goats instead of chemicals or pesticides to control noxious weeds,” said Rod Larsen, the City of Westminster Open Space Manager.

goats Standley Lake Regional Park Turns To Goats For Weed Mitigation

(credit: CBS)

There are more than 300 goats grazing the slopes around Standley Lake and that number is growing every day.

“Right now we’ve got 150, well now 140 pregnant moms. So we’re checking on babies,” said Herd Manager Russ McKenna.

goats 2 Standley Lake Regional Park Turns To Goats For Weed Mitigation

(credit: CBS)

“These guys go straight for the weeds because there’s no competition for it and there’s a lot of material for it,” McKenna said. “They’re turning it into very organic fertilizer everything they’re putting back into the soil is good for the dirt.”

Westminster has hired the herd for the past seven years. They’ve become an attraction for onlookers.

goats 3 Standley Lake Regional Park Turns To Goats For Weed Mitigation

(credit: CBS)

“You can see properties and land where the goats come in and you can see the effect the following year and the decrease in noxious weeds is remarkable,” Larsen said. “It’s a statement that says Westminster is committed to sustainability and the protection of the environment.”

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

denver.cbslocal.com

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