‘Goats on the Greenway’ to battle invasive plants at Hominy Creek Greenway

Remember those adorable (or #highmaintenance, depending on who you ask) “Goats of the Gorge” that helped to get rid of invasive exotics plants like kudzu at Chimney Rock State Park? Well, now you’ll be seeing them in West Asheville. The goats, supplied by KD Ecological Services, will be chomping down on non-native plants along the Hominy Creek Greenway between Sand Hill and Shelbourne roads for the next few weeks. The goats are working on the property thanks to a grant from Buncombe County.

While the public is welcome to watch the goats at work, like many other celebrities, the Bovidaes will be keeping a respectful distance from their fans. The goats will be contained behind fencing and Friends of the Hominy Creek Greenway asks that they not be touched or fed.

Here’s the full release.

From Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway

Press release

Over the next few weeks visitors to the Hominy Creek Greenway, the 14- acre park between Sandhill and Shelbourne Roads in West Asheville, will see goats along the walking path.  The goats are part of a partnership between the Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway, FOHCG, and the City of Asheville to remove invasive plant material from the park. Asheville Greenworks and RiverLink are also partners to maintain the 14-acre park.  This is the first phase of goat herbivory, with a second phase happening later in the year.

Through a grant from Buncombe County, the FOHCG hired KD Ecological Services, to supply and manage the goats on the property, and ensure care and safety of the goats and visitors to the park.  Goats will be monitored on a daily basis and will be on the property for approximately four to six weeks beginning this week through June.  Goats are contained within electric wire fencing, along with an additional plastic fence along areas directly adjacent to the trail.  Please be aware of the fencing when using the park with children and dogs.  We ask that you do not feed or pet the goats.

Non-native plants are a growing threat in the Carolinas. They displace native plants and animals, decrease property values and hinder access to land resources.  Using goats in particular is a very effective way to control non-native invasive plants by ecologically friendly technique. No machinery needs to be used, and little to no herbicide is needed to control large monocultures of non-natives.

FOHCG and the City of Asheville joined forces in 2013 to maintain and make improvements to the Hominy Creek Greenway. FOHCG and the city share recurring maintenance, while FOHCG takes the lead on special projects such as invasive plant control, trail maintenance and trail amenities.

For information about the invasive species removal project at the Hominy Creek Greenway, contact Jack Igelman at jack@igelman.com or Debbie Ivester at divester@ashevillnc.gov.

For information about the goats and the herbivory services, contact KD Ecological Services at 828-290-9380.

Click here for more information about goat herbivory.

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at ceidson@mountainx.com. Follow me @carrieeidson

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “‘Goats on the Greenway’ to battle invasive plants at Hominy Creek Greenway

  1. Tracy Rose

    Parents with children should definitely be careful about the live electric fence when walking on the greenway. My 9-year-old son was shocked this weekend when he accidentally backed into the fence while jumping out of the way of a mountain biker on a narrow section of the path. At the time, there were no warning signs along the trail. Maybe there are now; that would be a responsible addition.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.