Goat herd helps remove buckthorn, garlic mustard from Flandrau State Park

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The invasive plants at Flandrau State Park never stood a chance Friday as a herd of goats was deployed to clear the area.

According to the Minnesota DNR, the New Ulm State Park is using goats to remove buckthorn and garlic mustard from the park.

Goats are used in these situations to remove these invasive species from steep hillsides. In the past, the team at Goat Dispatch has deployed the herd in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Faribault

The DNR says buckthorn can hurt native plants by gobbling up nutrients, light and moisture and threatening the future of forests, wetlands, prairies and other natural habitats.

Buckthorn also contributes to erosion, hosts other pests like fungus and grows at an unnatural pace.

Garlic mustard also poses a threat to places like Flandrau State Park by spreading into woodlands and floodplain forests. Garlic mustard often leads to a decline on native herbaceous cover over time and it alters habitat suitability for native insects, birds and mammals.