Goats help rid Austin parks of poison ivy

Goats help rid Austin parks of poison ivy

Goats help rid Austin parks of poison ivy

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by KVUE.com

khou.com

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 4:49 PM

AUSTIN -- A patch of poison ivy can ruin your outdoor fun and leave you miserable for a week or more.

Now the Austin Parks Foundation and Austin Parks and Recreation Department are getting rid of the itchy nuisance with goats.

"This is a pilot project. We are trying to seed an industry here in Austin, trying to bring goat grazing, which is a sustainable land management practice, to the City of Austin," said Eric Courchesne, program director.

This flock started eating patches of poison ivy at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in South Austin Tuesday morning.

Apparently they don't have any trouble digesting the plant.

The invasive species has been a big problem at the garden because of the large number of plants and visitors.

The goats can reduce or eliminate the need for plant-killing chemicals.

"Goats are tried-and-true. It's thousands of years old technology. They're more efficient at clearing land, large tracts of land, than people are. And they're great at controlling different species like poison ivy," said Courchesne.

The goats will be back at the sculpture garden twice a week through July while the poison ivy plants are flowering.

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