Goats are grazing at Sar-Ko-Par Trails

Goats are grazing at Sar-Ko-Par Trails
Posted on 08/27/2021

Lenexa has welcomed a goat herd to Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park to help clean invasive plants out of the stream. Here’s what you need to know as they work for next couple of weeks.

You can’t touch the goats.

Rather than petting zoo attractions, these goats are professional plant-eaters. Lenexa has contracted with the Kansas City affiliate of Goats on the Go, which has successfully completed other targeted grazing projects in the region.

It’s important to keep the goats safe while they work in the stream corridor. To keep the goats in and predators out, they’re surrounded by an electric fence. This is surrounded by a perimeter fence to keep curious humans from getting zapped.

Do not touch or try to remove part of the fences, and remember not to throw anything, including food, into the pen. These goats have plenty to eat! And, if you're with your dog, remember to keep them on a leash and away from the fences.

But, you’re welcome to watch them at work.

Even from a distance, the goats offer plenty of entertainment. Visitors are more than welcome to come out to the park to enjoy watching the goats feast on foliage and clamber over the streambanks. If you can pull yourself away from the goat show, there are plenty of other attractions to experience at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park.

The goats excel at a task vital to keeping our stream healthy.

Invasive plant species like honeysuckle, callery pear, johnsongrass and wild grape choke out the native plants that provide many important benefits to streams, water quality and natural habitat. Our parks and stormwater crews spend significant time and manpower each year clearing invasive plants out of stream corridors.

But while removing these plants is a chore for humans, it’s a delicious undertaking for goats. They gobble up invasive species, quickly removing them from streamways without the need for herbicides or machinery. Their nimble hooves are also able to scale steep streambanks with minimal erosion.

You can learn more – and meet baby goats – at the Lenexa Spinach Festival.

We’re hosting a meet-and-greet event on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Lenexa Spinach Festival at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. While this won’t be a petting zoo-style event, you can meet bottle-fed baby goats, watch their elders work nearby and chat with staff about invasive plants you might find near your home.

Limited parking is available at the event site. Free satellite parking is available at the Central Church of the Nazarene, 12600 W. 87th St. Pkwy, or the business parking lot on the southeast corner of 95th Street and Lackman Road. Free shuttles run from these lots about every 10 minutes.

Updated Aug. 27, 2021