150 goats arrive at Lebanon Hills Regional Park to chomp away buckthorn

Abotu 150 goats will used to curb the growth of invasive buckthorn at Lebanon Regional Hills Park in Eagan, Minnesota. (Dakota County)

Dakota County is sending in goats to get rid of invasive buckthorn in Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, buckthorn can crowd out native plants, degrade wildlife habitat and threaten the future of forests.

A herd of about 150 goats will be at Lebanon Hills for up to 10 days. They will mostly be in the area of Roundtop Hill near the visitor center.

To contain the goats, there will be a temporary electric fence around the area. Staff and volunteers will complete daily checks on the goats.

Visitors are encouraged to check out the goats from afar, but are urged not to pet or feed the animals.

While this is the first time goats will be used to curb buckthorn growth at Lebanon Hills, surrounding cities have used goats to combat the invasive plant in recent years.