In August of 2023, the City launched it's first citywide grazing program in our Petaluma parks. In partnership with Chasin Goat Grazing, the program will bring goats into five of our local parks to help reduce flammable vegetation that can feed wildfires and threaten the safety of our community.
Benefits of Grazing
Grazing on our hills and grasslands brings numerous benefits.
- Reduces wildfire risk: Goats chomp on grasses that otherwise are highly flammable. Traditional mowing leaves cuttings behind, which can catch fire easily. Goats keep the grass low and leave behind only manure, which enriches the soil and removes fuel for wildfires. In this way, grazing helps our open spaces become barriers to wildfire instead of hazards.
- Supports native plant species: Goats graze on grasses and invasive species alike, and when fast-growing invasive species are kept at bay, native plants have more opportunity to thrive.
- Keeps carbon out of the atmosphere: The alternative to natural grazing is human-powered mowing - which puts high levels of CO2 into the environment. Native grasses, when allowed to thrive, also hold carbon in their roots and in the soil better than invasive species, preventing that carbon from being released into the atmosphere.
Check out the report below to see just how effective and beneficial our grazing pilot program has been!
Where to Find a Herd
Please check back for updates as new parks/dates will be released soon for this year’s grazing!
For questions about the grazing program dates, please contact Chase Cianfichi at (707) 326-4467 or Sarah Keiser (707) 332-5969. For general inquiries, contact Parks & Recreation at (707) 778-4412.
Photo courtesy of Chasin Goat Grazing.
"Sonoma County has gone through hell and back with recent wildland fires, and now, emergency preparedness and prevention has become a part of our daily lives. It may sound funny, but goats are some of the most effective partners we have at reducing fire load."
Senator Mike McGuire