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January 27, 2020

Ambler officials consider turning to goats to combat poison ivy problem in Borough Park

Officials in Ambler may have found a four-legged solution to a growing problem at one borough park.

During the May 7 borough council meeting, Mayor Jeanne Sorg offered a creative solution to combat the spreading poison ivy plants that are growing in a section of Borough Park behind Tennis Avenue along the banks of the Wissahickon Creek — hiring goats to eat them away.

The idea came about after council member Frank DeRuosi offered a status update on the borough’s parks and briefly mentioned the problem as one of a few minor issues that need to be addressed.

“The poison ivy thing is near and dear to my heart,” Sorg said. “Something to think about, I don’t know, because using chemicals is really the best way to get rid of [it], but a lot of people don’t want to use them, especially since we’re talking water here. The next best way is almost to do what Haverford College, and a lot of other institutions have done, which is, basically, hiring a goat herder and goats. Goats absolutely love [the plant]. Humans seem to be the only mammals that are allergic to it, my husband specifically. So I’m just throwing that out there; it’s something to think about.”

“No goats allowed in the park,” joked Borough Manager Mary Aversa. “No, I’m just kidding. What happened was the [Environmental Action Committee] did a project down there and they got this mulch brought in. It was covered in poison ivy. I think they’ve kept a handle on it, but [around] this season it gets really bad.”

The problem, according to one borough employee, was the plants grow too closely to the creek, making it too difficult to bring equipment in to get rid of them.

“People used to go down there to sit by the water,” said council member Sharon McCormick, “but now it’s unusable. The weeds grow nine feet sometimes in some spots. And the only thing that’s cleared is the trail.”

McCormick said the goal of the EAC’s project was to create what’s called a riparian buffer, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a vegetated area near a stream that protects waterways from being disturbed from harmful chemicals and other contaminants. Experts, though, told her it would take a team of about 25 people just to maintain the buffer on a regular basis.

“It’s so overgrown,” she said. “It’s so overgrown that I think a lot of those trees there have died from being strangled. We tried as best we could to help it, but it’s unmanageable and it’s unusable.”

Sorg said about a dozen goats can eat a quarter acre of poison ivy in a couple hours. Continued…

If Ambler were to try the unconventional approach of hiring livestock to act as natural weed mowers, it wouldn’t be the first.

Last summer, Upper Dublin Township hired sheep to eat their way through the overgrown grass and weeds at the detention basin behind the township building. The project cost the township about $300, mainly for a water trough.

Other reports of using sheep as eco-lawnmowers have come in from around the globe including places in Paris and at the Chicago International Airport.

Back in Ambler, Aversa said she’d like to look into companies that could get rid of the plants.

“We’ve even had an issue where we’ve had the guys try to do some work and they get poison ivy really bad,” she said. “Maybe we can look at a company to come in and just try and [get rid of the plants.] … Every time I send them out, I get three guys that get it. It’s bad.”

Sorg said the goats would be fenced in and would need to be sent in a number of times to permanently fix the problem.

“I think we’d have to do a lot of study on it,” Sorg said. “What I was reading was at Haverford, it’s $400 for each time they bring them in.”

Aversa said the borough would look in to it.

Vice President Peter Amento asked about what would happen when the goats “relieve themselves” while they’re out eating the plants.

A number of council members then chimed in laughing by saying “natural fertilizer.”

Follow Eric Devlin on Twitter @Eric_Devlin.

Officials in Ambler may have found a four-legged solution to a growing problem at one borough park.

During the May 7 borough council meeting, Mayor Jeanne Sorg offered a creative solution to combat the spreading poison ivy plants that are growing in a section of Borough Park behind Tennis Avenue along the banks of the Wissahickon Creek — hiring goats to eat them away.

The idea came about after council member Frank DeRuosi offered a status update on the borough’s parks and briefly mentioned the problem as one of a few minor issues that need to be addressed.

“The poison ivy thing is near and dear to my heart,” Sorg said. “Something to think about, I don’t know, because using chemicals is really the best way to get rid of [it], but a lot of people don’t want to use them, especially since we’re talking water here. The next best way is almost to do what Haverford College, and a lot of other institutions have done, which is, basically, hiring a goat herder and goats. Goats absolutely love [the plant]. Humans seem to be the only mammals that are allergic to it, my husband specifically. So I’m just throwing that out there; it’s something to think about.”

“No goats allowed in the park,” joked Borough Manager Mary Aversa. “No, I’m just kidding. What happened was the [Environmental Action Committee] did a project down there and they got this mulch brought in. It was covered in poison ivy. I think they’ve kept a handle on it, but [around] this season it gets really bad.”

The problem, according to one borough employee, was the plants grow too closely to the creek, making it too difficult to bring equipment in to get rid of them.

“People used to go down there to sit by the water,” said council member Sharon McCormick, “but now it’s unusable. The weeds grow nine feet sometimes in some spots. And the only thing that’s cleared is the trail.”

McCormick said the goal of the EAC’s project was to create what’s called a riparian buffer, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a vegetated area near a stream that protects waterways from being disturbed from harmful chemicals and other contaminants. Experts, though, told her it would take a team of about 25 people just to maintain the buffer on a regular basis.

“It’s so overgrown,” she said. “It’s so overgrown that I think a lot of those trees there have died from being strangled. We tried as best we could to help it, but it’s unmanageable and it’s unusable.”

Sorg said about a dozen goats can eat a quarter acre of poison ivy in a couple hours.

If Ambler were to try the unconventional approach of hiring livestock to act as natural weed mowers, it wouldn’t be the first. Last summer, Upper Dublin Township hired sheep to eat their way through the overgrown grass and weeds at the detention basin behind the township building. The project cost the township about $300, mainly for a water trough.

Other reports of using sheep as eco-lawnmowers have come in from around the globe including places in Paris and at the Chicago International Airport.

Back in Ambler, Aversa said she’d like to look into companies that could get rid of the plants.

“We’ve even had an issue where we’ve had the guys try to do some work and they get poison ivy really bad,” she said. “Maybe we can look at a company to come in and just try and [get rid of the plants.] … Every time I send them out, I get three guys that get it. It’s bad.”

Sorg said the goats would be fenced in and would need to be sent in a number of times to permanently fix the problem.

“I think we’d have to do a lot of study on it,” Sorg said. “What I was reading was at Haverford, it’s $400 for each time they bring them in.”

Aversa said the borough would look in to it.

Vice President Peter Amento asked about what would happen when the goats “relieve themselves” while they’re out eating the plants.

A number of council members then chimed in laughing by saying “natural fertilizer.”

Follow Eric Devlin on Twitter @Eric_Devlin.

Source article:  

Ambler officials consider turning to goats to combat poison ivy problem in Borough Park

‘Gotham’ Trailer: 18 Key Scenes

Before Batman, there was Gotham. And during the “24: Live Another Day” premiere, there was a “Gotham” trailer.

Our first full look at Fox’s new Batman TV show sans Batman has arrived, and with it comes our first real impressions of Gotham’s assorted gangsters and gumshoes. There’s a lot of material packed into that two-minute trailer, but we’ve gone over it with a fine-tooth comb and picked out all the best details. Here they are:

Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, a veteran detective of the Gotham City Police Department.

Benjamin Mackenzie as James Gordon, Gotham’s newest rookie, throwing Bullock all kinds of Ryan Atwood shade.

Robin Lord Taylor, late of a one-off “Walking Dead” appearance, not faring much better as a bloody-nosed Oswald Cobblepot — also known as the man who will eventually become The Penguin.

Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney, the awesomely named Gotham City gangster who serves as Oswald’s boss, and provides a huge thorn in the side for both Bullock and Gordon.

David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne, on the most important night of his life.

Gordon and Bruce meet for the first time. It won’t be their last encounter, not by a long shot.

The funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Just past Bruce’s shoulder is Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, the trusty butler who otherwise doesn’t appear in the trailer.

John Doman, alias William Rawls from “The Wire,” as … someone. Not really sure. We hear he has some night club suggestions.

More of Gordon getting his Ryan Atwood on. And by “getting his Ryan Atwood on,” we really just mean “getting it on.”

Gordon getting it on again, but with an entirely different type of gun.

Newcomer Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, future Catwoman, on the outskirts of Wayne Manor…

…as she spies young master Bruce on the edge of despair.

Before the Penguin…

Before Catwoman…

Before Riddler…

Before Poison Ivy…

And even before Clayface*…

…there was this awesome “Gotham” logo.

* not actually from trailer

What did you think of the “Gotham” trailer?

Link:  

‘Gotham’ Trailer: 18 Key Scenes

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