CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An eco-friendly way to help clear the lake bed at the Johnstown Flood National Memorial site returned this week.

A herd of 12 goats from the Allegheny Goatscape in Pittsburgh will be eating away approximately one acre every two weeks, helping to lay the groundwork for future clearing of the Lakebed Rehabilitation Project. The fence line will move with them as they finish each acre.

“The goal of the project is to get the lake back to what it looked like shortly after the dam broke back in 1889,” Elizabeth Shope, officer with the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, said.

The public is welcome to view the herd at the North Abutment during the time the park grounds are open but are asked to park in designated spots only, according to a press release. The park also advises not to touch the fence line, which is electric for the safety of the animals. Additionally, they ask you to not feed them.

Park staff and volunteers will help care for the goats by providing water to the herd daily, the release said. This portion of the project could continue until the fall.

Throughout the Lakebed Rehabilitation Project, special care will be taken to protect wetland areas and the stream in the lakebed.

The park said the secondary goal of the project is to have areas outside of the wetlands and streams flourish with low-lying vegetation and native grass and plants that can be maintained by the National Park Service.

Rehabilitation was done in the lakebed in the 1980s, but the vegetation has since grown back.

For more information, check out the Johnstown Flood National Memorial’s Facebook page.

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