WAITE PARK (WJON News) -- If you visit Quarry Park you may notice some new inhabitants.

The Stearns County Parks Department says goats are now roaming around the park. The goats are part of a partnership between the county, Great River Greening, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Minnesota DNR to restore native forests in the park.

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Over the course of three years, the county hopes to remove invasive species and regrow native species of plants in 90 acres of Quarry Park forest, wetland, and rock outcrops.

The goats will eat the invasive buckthorn while leaving native plants such as jack-in-the-pulpit and lady fern alone. They also will transfer native forest grass seeds to the park using their hooves.

Stearns County Parks will be cutting and spraying in the park as well, but the goat browsing technique offers a more natural approach.

The county is also looking for volunteer goat watchers to help keep an eye on the animals while they work. You can learn more or sign up by visiting the link below.

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