By David Stenklyft for Wausau Pilot & Review
City officials in Wausau held its first ever goat-themed celebration Thursday, featuring the working goats on Barker Stewart Island.
“Goatapalooza” included a variety of activities including a scavenger hunt, goat yoga, goat cheese tasting and more.
The stars of the show arrived in Wausau around two weeks ago, recruited to devour and eliminate invasive plant species on the island. They hail from Liberation Farms in Almond, and have answered the dinner bell at several locales statewide.
The idea for both enlisting the goats and the celebration on Thursday were the brainchild of Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg, said Mark Dorow of the Parks Department, who manned the table of cheese for sampling. Dorow said the goats are likely nearing the end of their stay.
Rosenberg explained how the idea came to be.
“I saw that Madison used goats to clean up some of their parks and it sounded like the goats did a great job, and goats are very cool, so I contacted the parks department and said ‘let’s do this,'” Rosenberg said.
So far, city officials are happy with the job the goats have done – though Rosenberg noted that they seem to be selective in their eating habits.
“They seem to like the honeysuckle right now,” Rosenberg said. “And we’re hoping they will start devouring another species once the honeysuckle are gone.”
On June 15, the City Council approved a temporary amendment to Wausau’s forbidden animal ordinance for the goats to be deployed for invasive species removal. This followed a Public Health and Safety Committee decision on May 24 to do the same. The project carries a roughly $3,200 price tag.