If you’re driving County Highway 101 in Shakopee, you’ll likely see about 100 goats casually grazing at Memorial Park, just off the sidewalk. The goats will be short-term Shakopee residents for the next week, naturally eliminating buckthorn on the Indian burial mounds located at the park.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is renting the goats from Goat Dispatch to protect and preserve the burial mounds in Shakopee. Using goats to clear land and woody areas is much more cost effective than many traditional methods, according to the goat rental company, and this isn’t the first time the SMSC has utilized them.

Steve Albrecht, operations administrator for the tribe, said last year, goats were used near Dean Lake to restore the land from invasive plants, and a few weeks ago the goats were located at the Hocokata Ti Cultural Center.

“It didn’t cost us much extra to transfer the goats to Memorial Park,” Albrecht said.

Buckthorn is invasive and can damage precious pieces of land. Fortunately, goats love the plant, so it’s a win-win for both parties. The goats at Memorial Park will be there through next week, and they are fenced in. Visitors are asked not to go beyond the fence or to feed the goats, as they are already busy munching on the buckthorn.

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