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No kidding around: Danvers brings in goats to clear dog park of poison ivy

Salem News “No kidding around: Danvers brings in goats to clear dog park of poison ivy” BY ETHAN FORMAN STAFF WRITER

Some of the first four-legged creatures to wander the Danvers Dog Park aren’t canines at all.

The Department of Public Works brought in 20 goats this week to clear poison ivy, bittersweet and other undesirable weeds out of the one-acre, fenced-in dog park so herbicides would not be needed.

The goats were seen as an eco-friendly way to clear some of the nasty weeds from the woods of the dog park, which is nearing completion in an overflow parking area of Endicott Park on Forest Street. The Department of Public Works posted pictures of the goats on Twitter on Tuesday with the caption: “Look who’s working hard to get the dog park ready! Are you kid-ing me?!”

And the goats made fast work of it, munching away and getting rid of the poison ivy in just 24 hours, from Tuesday to Wednesday. Bittersweet vines can also climb trees and kill them.

“With the wetlands, you can’t be spraying in the first place,” said Chuck Farrell, the DPW’s Forestry Division manager. Goats, it turns out, love poison ivy.

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