Goats return to Sharon Hills Park


Weed-eating goats will return to Sharon Heights the week of May 17, providing a service to both Menlo Park's park maintenance crew, and parents looking for cheap and easy entertainment for the kids.

The goats come every year during fire season to clear out tall weeds and grasses, and usually stay for two to three weeks, according to Parks and Trees Supervisor Dave Mooney.

People are asked to keep their dogs on a leash.

Alex Cannara, who lives in unincorporated Menlo Park near Sharon Hills Park, chided the city for the practice this time last year, saying that environmentally speaking, it would be better off employing a more conventional method.

"The whole idea of this as being an environmentally sound practice is actually absurd," Mr. Cannara said, noting that trucking hundreds of goats around the Bay Area takes a lot of fuel, and the goats wreak havoc on the park's wildlife — scaring away quail, and preventing new trees from growing.

City staff agreed to aid Mr. Cannara and others in fencing off areas with young trees this time around.

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Like this comment
Posted by MenloParkMom
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Let's hope the goats don't like to eat orange plastic! It would be great if the oak saplings had a chance to grow.

Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I love the goats ... fun for the kids to watch. However, they do leave a lot of waste behind ... and I don't remember anyone cleaning up the goat poop after last year! It's not too pleasant when you go walking - or take your dogs walking - along the trail!

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Goats are nothing if not determined. If they suspect that there's something good behind those orange fences, I wouldn't want to be an oak sapling.

On the other hand, this is the first year in recent memory that it has rained while the goats are here, and the first that they have had green grass to eat. Maybe that will be enough to distract them. Maybe the goat tender will keep them away from the saplings.

Risky business, planting saplings in goat territory.

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