Goats and sheep arrived in North Natomas Regional Park late last week as part of the Department of Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment’s (YPCE) grazing program. Their presence at the 212-acre park will help sustainably reduce fire risk.
This is the second time YPCE has utilized goats as alternative to mowing. YPCE first used livestock for this purpose last fall at Del Paso Regional Park. The City contracts with local ranching companies for the animals.
“We saw great success at our first location, and we are excited to continue using goats and sheep at our parks,” Park Maintenance Superintendent Jonathan Moscato said. “We’re able to keep grasses down to reduce potential fire fuels during the dry season.”
The animals are an ideal resource at parks that present challenges to the mowers and other equipment staff typically use, officials said.
North Natomas Regional Park’s undeveloped section has construction debris hidden in the tall grasses that can cause issues when mowed. In some areas, the grass is over three feet tall, which the grazing animals can easily handle.
Staff estimate that the first graze will take 26 to 30 days and anticipate a second grazing later in the summer. Animals will also be used at the Laguna Creek Wildlife Area later this year.
The site is monitored 24-hours a day. Visitors to the park should expect areas to be intermittently closed while the animals are grazing.