Friends of Lois Creek will use goats, hand pulling to control weeds

The Friends of Lois Creek, who maintain the trails in the Lois Creek area of Townsite, are planning to use target goat grazing and community hand pulls to control invasive plants throughout the trail system this coming summer. The Friends are currently applying for CBT funding for the project, which will also have an educational component.

In a letter to Council, seeking a letter of support, the Friends say that they believe the time is now to begin controlling invasive in Lois Creek because the infestation is large and spreading. The area is not part of the city’s invasive plant control budget.

The group is looking to the city to get a high quality map of the area, which points out the borders between private, city and crown lands.

The main components and parties responsible are:

– Target Goat Grazing for Invasive Plant Control and Contained Compost Pile: Vahana Nature Rehabilitation/Friends of Lois Creek.

– Chainlink contained compost pile; plants picked and added to pile by community hand pulls; pile added to throughout the year by users of the trails. Signs on the chainlink explaining the purpose and how to use. Maintained and stirred for good composting.

– Target goat grazing between the months of June and September. The Vahana Goat Camp would be established at the infested area for the amount of days needed to graze the plants (maximum of 10 days at a time), includes camper, goat night pens, water troughs.

– Educational Modules: for in-classroom and field. Plant science and how we use it to control invasive plants. Mainstreams to develop,pilot and offer to local schools and community groups.

– Friends of Lois Creek will administer the funds and coordinate volunteers and community groups for the hand pulls.

Coun. Darryl Oakley said he had no problems with the proposal as long as the logistics are worked out. The trails were quite busy, he said, and he wanted to be assured there wouldn’t be any conflict between goats and dog walkers,for example.

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