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January 18, 2018

Ravenous Goats Making Quick Work of Hyde Park Poison Ivy

There are new landscapers in town and they’re not human.

Last month, the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation decided there was so much poison ivy in the area that it was deemed unsafe for children. So, they thought, let’s round up the goats, which are provided by a company that actually specializes in goat rentals for garden projects.

Patricia Alvarez, who works for the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, told Boston.com, “They love it. It’s like candy.”

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According to The Boston Globe, goats have been employed in Hyde Park to do some landscaping, sorry, “goatscaping.”

“The contract called for the goats to chomp their way to the point where the ‘targeted vegetation … will be no more than 4 inches high, with the exception of woody stems or vines with stems one half centimeter or thicker.’”

Yes, there was a contract.

“The site was once seen as an eyesore,” Ryan Woods, director of external affairs at the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, told The Boston Globe. “Now [the goats] have turned it into a place that people actually want to go to.”

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Ravenous Goats Making Quick Work of Hyde Park Poison Ivy

Teens create 'goatscaping' venture to clear park's poison ivy

A group of Boston teens are monitoring a team of goats to clean up poison ivy in a city park. (Sourece: WCVB/CNN)A group of Boston teens are monitoring a team of goats to clean up poison ivy in a city park. (Sourece: WCVB/CNN)

BOSTON (WCVB/CNN) – Boston is enlisting the aid of some four-legged helpers to combat the city’s nastiest weed problems.

They’re out to make Boston a nicer place to live, one chomp at a time.

“We actually have goats right now at this very moment eating poison ivy and hopefully this will open up this space to be more accessible green area,” interim parks Commissioner Chris Cook said.

“Goatscaping” is underway by the Neponset River in Hyde Park. It’s an area Boston city maintenance groups and volunteers can’t access because it’s overrun by poison ivy.

Apparently the poison ivy is a delicacy for the four goats who just arrived to the park. The “goatscaping” will go on for eight weeks, and they have a lot of work to do.

Grant money will cover the $3,000 costs, and teens in the Hyde Park Green Team helped convince Boston’s mayor it was a good idea.

“We proposed our idea of having goats and he thought it was pretty cool b/c it was the first time in Boston,” Jolanda Douyon of the Hyde Park Green Team said.

The Green Team will help care for the four-legged helpers during their stay at the West Street Urban Wild.

“The ‘goatscaping’ company will fence in a half-acre at a time with an electrified fence that is solar powered. It’s not harmful to humans. It’s really meant to keep coyotes out and goats in,” said Patricia Alverez of Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation.

The city says it’s fine for the public to view the goats, but don’t pet them – they’re covered in poison ivy oils.

According to the Boston Globe, the $2,800 cost to rent the goats is being covered by grants.

Copyright 2014 WCVB via CNN. All rights reserved.

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Teens create 'goatscaping' venture to clear park's poison ivy

Goats Are Eating Our Poison Ivy, For the Children




An overgrown Hyde Park lot is becoming dinner for some lucky—and hopefully hungry—farm animals: goats are being brought in to eat the poison ivy that has taken over the space.

Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation’s Patricia Alvarez told WBZ that West Street Urban Wild had “so much poison ivy, it is unsafe for the youths.”

But it is safe for goats, Alvarez said. In fact, “they love it. It’s like candy.” Yum!


The goats are being provided by a Plymouth company that specializes in hungry goat rentals as an alternative to doing the yard work yourself or using chemicals, according to Boston Magazine. For the next eight weeks, four goats will be fenced in the lot and allowed to go to town on the toxic (to us) treats. Anyone may stop by to watch the goats in action, but visitors are being asked not to pet the goats, and especially not to feed them. They have work to do.

NECN noted that after eating the plants, the goats will “deposit a clean natural fertilizer back into the landscape.” So while your kids won’t be rolling in poison ivy, they might come in contact with a little bit of goat poop.

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Goats Are Eating Our Poison Ivy, For the Children

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