Metro Parks and Recreation Department Gets Creative to Help Address Environmental Issues

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- City leaders in West Des Moines are bringing environmental awareness to the front this weekend.

In honor of Earth Day, the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation department is showing off its unique ways to help the environment. Next month, the city will allow goats to graze on the grass at Southwoods Park. Instead of using harsh chemicals, the animals will eat the invasive species that kill plants.

The city's Green Team is also working on rebuilding the city's dwindling shade canopy after invasive species destroyed it.

"Part of that is because of the emerald ash borer, so people have been getting rid of their ash trees so we’ve lost a lot of the canopy with that. But our goal as a city is to get 32% shade canopy throughout the city," says parks and recreation coordinator Allison Ullestad.

As a result, the department hopes to sell 460 trees to help improve the canopy. Trees are on sale for $30 at City Hall.