Gardening goats return to Frick Park to munch on weeds

The goats are back.

Just after 10 a.m. Monday, 14 goats and their guardian, a donkey named Hobo, in a procession entered their temporary home and project site at the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh.

The goats were led to the Clayton Hill trail area of Frick Park to resume their duties for the fourth year.

Provided to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy through the company Allegheny GoatScape, the goats are chewing and chomping away through the Clayton Hill area of the park, making it possible for the conservancy to plant trees and perform their forest regeneration process.

They’re the mean, lean, eating-lots-of-green, four-legged landscaping team.

Just behind the back loop of the Clayton Hill Trail, the goats can be seen chowing down on bush honeysuckle, an invasive plant brush with the potential to grow as high as 15 feet.

“They form a really dense layer that no trees can get started under, forming a mono-culture which is really no good for forests,” said Robin Eng of the conservancy.

Traditionally, goats have been a reliable and eco-friendly option in the management of the overgrowth of unwanted plants and invasive vegetation. Specifically in the western regions of the country where wildfires are common, they are often used to clear brush as a preventive safety measure.

Robin Eng of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy discusses the GoatScape goats and their job at Clayton Hill in Frick Park.
Eng explained the progress the goats have achieved over the years and their plans for the future of the project.

Thanks to these hardworking goats, people who frequent Frick Park will soon see the Clayton Hill area becoming a healthier environment for native flora and fauna, Eng said. Until then, park visitors can find the furry gardening crew eating, playing and napping.
Source: TribLive