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April 21, 2018

Thanksgiving With the Bears

“It’s a fun atmosphere. I come here every year on Thanksgiving”

That’s what Sarah Cheney says of the Roscoe bar Poison Ivy Pub which has been open for Thanksgiving for the last fourteen years. But this time she says the atmosphere was a little different compared to other years.

“It’s a little more energized I think.”

This because the Bears played against Detroit on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1999.

“It’s kind of fun that it’s the Bears Lions today. I’ve seen a lot of people wearing their Bears jerseys even though it’s Thanksgiving. They still get dressed up for their team,” said Cheney

And, the owner of Poison Ivy, Steve Quies, says Bear fans were not the only ones at the bar.

“We got a lot of people that come in that have family or may not have family in the area.”

Quies says Thanksgiving Day is usually a busy day for him.

“Pretty decent crowd on Thanksgiving it’s kind of all day long just trickle in-out. People stop for a short period and go to their family outings or afterwards they come here. We have several groups that come in after their dinners at their homes. Its been their tradition every year.”

And, while this year was different the Bears game was all too familiar — another loss.

“Big bears fan been following them for years. Little rough this year being a Bear fan but like all Bear fans we’re hanging in there,” said Quies.

See more here: 

Thanksgiving With the Bears

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

Police in Michigan on Monday were focusing on clues they received when they asked the public to identify men in pictures taken during a large outdoor costume-party that a 22-year-old woman disappeared from more than a week earlier. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office posted another picture earlier in the week that showed the missing woman, Chelsea Bruck, in costume and smiling with five other people. The nine party-goers in the three photos have all been identified, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, but Bruck is still nowhere to be found.

Bruck got separated from her friends at the Halloween bash on Oct. 25 and hasn’t been heard from since, according to NBC affiliate WDIV. She was wearing a Batman-inspired “Poison Ivy” costume comprised of black yoga pants and a leaf-covered green top, according to police. Her naturally blonde hair was colored purple. Volunteers and investigators have been scouring Monroe all week, fueled by tips on the “Help Find Chelsea Bruck” Facebook page, and leads called into police. The community has also rallied around the Bruck family by setting up a donation page and organizing a Monday night prayer vigil, according to Redeemer Fellowship Church in Monroe. “We just want her back,” Bruck’s mother Leannda Bruck told WDIV. “We just want her safe.”

SOCIAL

— Elisha Fieldstadt

First published November 3 2014, 9:04 AM

This article is from – 

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

Julianne Hough's DWTS Photo Diary: See Her Scary-Sexy Halloween Look

Dancing With the Stars judge Julianne Hough wanted to have a Halloween look so gorgeous, it was scary — and she definitely succeeded this week, thanks to her emerald-green Poison Ivy-inspired ensemble. Below, read on for the scoop on how she achieved her elegantly evil look (and get a peek at her adorable puppy, who makes a return appearance this week!).

Julianne Hough DWTS styleCourtesy Julianne Hough


“We loved this Alberta Ferreti dress and have been waiting for the perfect moment to wear it; the Halloween theme meant that we needed something a little richer and I didn’t want to go down the obvious black route,” Hough tells PEOPLE. “[Stylist] Anita [Patrickson] and I were inspired the fabulous Poison Ivy character but we had to rein it in a little so as not to get too literal. The leaves Riawna [Capri, her hairstylist] added to my hair were minimal enough to feel clean, chic and fashion-y, but outside the box enough to add a little character to my look.”

Says Patrickson of pulling together Hough’s Halloween look, “The biggest challenge was keeping her look fashion forward and not too costume-y. It all came together last minute, actually, with Julianne’s genius suggestion of adding something cool into her hair. Within 5 minutes we had dragged out my secret box of tricks full of flowers and leaves and ‘Poison Ivy à la Hough’ was born. The result was a super sexy, very elegant and glamorous ensemble.”

Capri loved the chance to have a little fun (without going too far, of course!). “Adding in some leaves to her hair was the best part! It’s not everyday you can throw beautiful green leaves in your hair and have it look awesome,” she says. Hough’s reaction to the finished look? “Yup, that’s it! Perfection!”

RELATED: See all things Dancing with the Stars right here!

Julianne Hough DWTS styleCourtesy Julianne Hough

Makeup artist Marianna Elias played up the sexy-villainess look with extra shimmer. “Julianne wanted to add a sparkle and a special deep green hue to the eye look,” she says. “I end up making it by scraping two different pressed eyeshadows into a loose form and mixing them with a warm (also loose) gold glitter. I added the mixture on her eyes over a shimmery cream shadow. That was the most fun part!”

All three members of the glam squad stress that the key to pulling off such a bold look is to enjoy yourself while doing it. “Mix different hues of green, add glitter! No fear!” advises Ellis. Capri says, “There isn’t a better time than Halloween! to have a blast.” And finally, Patrickson shares: “My greatest sadness is when people are afraid to try something for fear of making a fashion faux pas — fashion is supposed to be wild and fun!”

Loving it? Share your thoughts below!

–Alex Apatoff

Thank you for signing up!

Originally from:

Julianne Hough's DWTS Photo Diary: See Her Scary-Sexy Halloween Look

Julianne Hough's DWTS Photo Diary: Celebrating a Very Sexy Halloween During Week 7

Dancing With the Stars judge Julianne Hough wanted to have a Halloween look so gorgeous, it was scary — and she definitely succeeded this week, thanks to her emerald-green Poison Ivy-inspired ensemble. Below, read on for the scoop on how she achieved her elegantly evil look (and get a peek at her adorable puppy, who makes a return appearance this week!).

Julianne Hough DWTS styleCourtesy Julianne Hough


“We loved this Alberta Ferreti dress and have been waiting for the perfect moment to wear it; the Halloween theme meant that we needed something a little richer and I didn’t want to go down the obvious black route,” Hough tells PEOPLE. “[Stylist] Anita [Patrickson] and I were inspired the fabulous Poison Ivy character but we had to rein it in a little so as not to get too literal. The leaves Riawna [Capri, her hairstylist] added to my hair were minimal enough to feel clean, chic and fashion-y, but outside the box enough to add a little character to my look.”

Says Patrickson of pulling together Hough’s Halloween look, “The biggest challenge was keeping her look fashion forward and not too costume-y. It all came together last minute, actually, with Julianne’s genius suggestion of adding something cool into her hair. Within 5 minutes we had dragged out my secret box of tricks full of flowers and leaves and ‘Poison Ivy à la Hough’ was born. The result was a super sexy, very elegant and glamorous ensemble.”

Capri loved the chance to have a little fun (without going too far, of course!). “Adding in some leaves to her hair was the best part! It’s not everyday you can throw beautiful green leaves in your hair and have it look awesome,” she says. Hough’s reaction to the finished look? “Yup, that’s it! Perfection!”

RELATED: See all things Dancing with the Stars right here!

Julianne Hough DWTS styleCourtesy Julianne Hough

Makeup artist Marianna Elias played up the sexy-villainess look with extra shimmer. “Julianne wanted to add a sparkle and a special deep green hue to the eye look,” she says. “I end up making it by scraping two different pressed eyeshadows into a loose form and mixing them with a warm (also loose) gold glitter. I added the mixture on her eyes over a shimmery cream shadow. That was the most fun part!”

All three members of the glam squad stress that the key to pulling off such a bold look is to enjoy yourself while doing it. “Mix different hues of green, add glitter! No fear!” advises Ellis. Capri says, “There isn’t a better time than Halloween! to have a blast.” And finally, Patrickson shares: “My greatest sadness is when people are afraid to try something for fear of making a fashion faux pas — fashion is supposed to be wild and fun!”

Loving it? Share your thoughts below!

–Alex Apatoff

Thank you for signing up!

Read the article: 

Julianne Hough's DWTS Photo Diary: Celebrating a Very Sexy Halloween During Week 7

Do you recognize this mystery plant?

Poison ivy isn’t “evil.” Neither are spiders or hurricanes.

Some plants do cause problems, of course. Poison ivy is a “problem” plant for humans in that it causes lots of people to break out in allergic reactions, sometimes severely.

Yet poison ivy is in fact a widespread native species, providing wildlife food for a variety of critters. It is a common component of many natural ecosystems and has been here in our landscapes a lot longer than we humans have.

On the other hand, there are some plants that have not been around very long, relatively speaking. These are the weeds.

Some weeds are rather innocuous, rarely causing problems. But then other weeds are ravenously destructive, showing up in our lawns, gardens, agricultural fields, just about anywhere.

The thing we should remember about weeds, whether benign or destructive, is that nearly all of them have been introduced by humans into a previously weed-free environment. You might think of these introduced species as “guests,” sometimes invited intentionally, sometimes not. The problem with guests, of course, is that sometimes they stay too long.

And then there is our mystery plant.

It is a gorgeous herb, capable of producing masses of beautiful foliage. The sheathing, pointed leaves are produced on flimsy, fleshy stems that flop over and make new roots. I’ve seen some of these plants producing brightly variegated leaves, striped with yellow.

Flowering occurs in the autumn, until frost. Usually, a single flower will pop up at the end of a stem or in a leaf axil. Each flower is about half an inch wide, with three white or pink petals. Small pods form afterward, containing little seeds.

This is a species that occurs naturally in much of southern Asia, from India to Korea and Japan. Here’s the scary thing: It is now a common component of wetland systems in North America, and is surely present in every Southeastern state. It is also known now as a weed in Oregon and Washington.

For a number of years, botanists knew of it in the South only from the coastal plain, but more recently it has invaded piedmont and mountain settings. It is notorious for rampant growth, crowding out everything around it, and it is definitely invasive. How did it arrive?

One theory is that seeds of this plant were introduced — accidentally — into South Carolina late in the 17th century, contaminating rice seed. According to this idea, this species remained confined to rice fields of South Carolina, and then elsewhere in the Southeast, until relatively recently, and then for whatever reasons, it has taken on a new and more threatening behavior, easily spreading into new habitats.

Waterfowl, which like to eat the seeds, are implicated in this spread. The stems root with such ease that it is no surprise fragments of the plants could easily start up after being transported somewhere else.

Although it isn’t “evil”, this plant guest has gained a nasty reputation. And it doesn’t look like it

wants to leave any time soon.

John Nelson is the curator of the A. C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, in the Department of Biological Sciences. As a public service, the herbarium offers free plant identifications. For more information, visit www.herbarium.org, call 803-777-8196 or email nelson@sc.edu.

Answer: “Nasty-weed,” “Asiatic dew-flower,” Murdannia keisak

Source:

Do you recognize this mystery plant?

Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Poison Ivy On Dogs Can Rub Off On Humans

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I can’t go through my woods without gallons of Roundup because they are so infested with poison ivy and I am highly allergic. If I even look at it I seem to get it. But, my dogs run around in the woods all the time. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all. Should I be worried?

Linda

P.S. I’m just kidding about the gallons of Roundup. It’s only a few quarts.

Dear Linda,

Lucky for you we are not an environmental organization.  The truth is there is not enough Roundup in the universe to make a dent in the poison ivy that grows here, so your best option is to find ways to simply avoid contact.

You are not getting a poison ivy rash from looking at it.

So assuming that you are really not touching the plants, it is  likely you are getting it from petting your dogs.

This is ordinarily a good thing, but not if they have been rolling around in or running through poison ivy.

The culprit with poison ivy is an oily substance called urushiol which causes the rash that you get.

You can only get the rash from contact with that oil, but it is highly probable that your dogs have it on their fur and you are picking it up there. Dogs and most other animals do not seem to get the rash; some animals even eat the stuff with no ill effects.

Your options seem to be to figure out a way to keep your dogs away from the infested area as much as possible and/or to make sure that you bathe them carefully to remove the oil as much as possible when you know they have been in the woods.

Better yet, don’t leave your dogs outside alone and unsupervised.

Take them for walks, play with them, sit in the shade with them.

It’s your company that they crave so you might as well take advantage of that reality and have an itch-free summer.

Got the itch for a new pet?

You can find the perfect summer (and winter) companion for years to come at www.oswegohumane.org

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

Source:

Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Poison Ivy On Dogs Can Rub Off On Humans

Greenfield poison ivy removal company owner does not use chemicals

News


Greenfield poison ivy removal company owner does not use chemicals

Thursday, July 3, 2014

By JESSIE SALISBURY

Correspondent

LYNDEBOROUGH – Poison ivy can be truly called a “noxious weed.” The urushiol oil contained in all parts of the trailing vine causes a painful rash and oozing blisters on most people who encounter it. The blisters and intense itching can last up to two weeks.

Poison ivy will grow almost anywhere in our region, under all kinds of conditions and it is not easy to eradicate.

Although there are chemical sprays that will kill it, the best way to remove it is to pull it out.

While some people take the risks involved and do that, most people hire someone else.

Helaine Hughes, owner of The Poison Ivy Removal Co. in Greenfield, is one of the few people in the state who does not use chemicals of any kind.

“I don’t like the idea that (chemicals) can get into the ground water,” she said during a recent visit to a homeowner with the problem. “And the dead plant material can infect you for three to five years. You can’t use the place you’ve sprayed. People I help can use the area right away.”

So she and her three employees get into hazmat suits and rip it out by hand.

“I wear the suit with boots attached,” she said, “wade in and sit down, or whatever we need to do. You just have to be careful not to touch your face. The girls do their hair up very well so there are no stray pieces.”

Hughes added, “Poison ivy and yellow jackets shouldn’t be allowed and I run into (the hornets) every once in a while.” Those she does spray.

While simply brushing against the leaves can cause the rash, “you can’t get it from another person,” she said. “The oozing blisters don’t have the urushiol oil.”

But you can get it from your pets – “it doesn’t affect them but the oil is on the tips of their hairs” – and from anything that has touched the vine, tools, shoes, clothes, etc.

Hughes said she does this kind of work “because I’m good at it.” She said she understood the need for protection because in earlier jobs she had worked in clean rooms and as a housekeeper in hospital infectious disease wards.

“In the 1970s, my dad brought home some pheasants and we had to remove the poison ivy to put up a fence. He called Dunstable, Mass., (where we lived) the poison ivy capital of the world.”

Poison ivy vines have horizontal roots, she said, and put down an anchor root every two or three feet, so even pulling it out might not get it all.

“There is a 15 percent grow back,” she said. “You can have us come back or manage that yourself.”

To do the job yourself, Hughes said, “wear long pants and long sleeves. Tape washable gloves to the sleeves and wear washable sneakers. Pull out the ivy and put it in bags. When you’re through, put everything (you are wearing) into the washer and take a shower. As long as you aren’t sweating or it isn’t raining, cotton clothes are fine.”

Do not burn the pulled vines. The urushiol oil stays in the smoke and breathing it can affect the esophagus and the lungs. Double bag the plants and take them to a landfill.

Hughes services are $100 an hour for a crew of two. If the ivy is in light shade, they can do a 10-by-30-foot area, but if it is in mowed grass, the hardest place to remove it, they might do only a 10-by-10 area.

Part of her service is to tell people what poison ivy is, and what it isn’t. Many plants have the three leaves that are the ivy’s main identifier.

Does it have thorns? It’s not poison ivy, probably blackberry.

Does it have alternate leaves, serrated leaves? Not ivy.

“People call me and I can tell them it’s not ivy, put a lot of people’s minds at ease. But I think, and so do some others, that poison ivy tries to look like other plants it is growing near,” she said.

Hughes has lived in Greenfield since 2003, previously living in Wilton. There are other companies who deal with the ivy, she said, some pull but also use sprays. “I’m the only one who just pulls.”

She added, “I love to do it, it’s fun. I get to talk to all these people. Every place (I go) is different. It’s amazing how little information there is out there about poison ivy. William Gillis wrote about the only book and he is trying to get the genetic codes, what insects eat it, is collecting seeds.”

Dr. William T. Gillis 1960 book, “Poison Ivy and Its Kin,” is available from Amazon.

Hughes said, “There is a lot to think about (when dealing with the ivy). You can’t see (the oil), can’t smell it, but any kind of soap will get rid of it.”

The Poison Ivy Removal Company can be reached at 547-6644, at poisonivyremoval
company@tellink.net, or online at
poisonivyremovalcompany.com.

Visit link:

Greenfield poison ivy removal company owner does not use chemicals

Dealing with dermatitis

DERMATITIS is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin. Although dermatitis can have many causes and occurs in many forms, this disorder usually involves an itchy rash on swollen, reddened skin.

Skin affected by dermatitis may blister, ooze, develop a crust or flake off. Examples of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis (eczema), dandruff, and rashes caused by contact with poison ivy or certain metals and leathers.

Dermatitis is a common condition that usually isn’t life-threatening or contagious, however it can be very uncomfortable.

SYMPTOMS
Each type of dermatitis may look a little different and may tend to occur on different parts of your body. The most common types of dermatitis include:
• Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Usually beginning in infancy, this red, itchy rash most commonly occurs where the skin flexes, such as inside the elbows, behind the knees and the front of the neck. When scratched, the rash can leak fluid and crust over.
• Contact dermatitis. This rash occurs on areas of the body that have come into contact with substances that either irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction, such as poison ivy, leather or metals, The rash may burn, sting or itch. Blisters may develop.
• Seborrheic dermatitis. This condition causes a red rash with yellowish and somewhat “oily” scales, usually on the scalp and sometimes on the face, especially around the ears and nose. It’s a common cause of dandruff. In infants, this disorder is known as cradle cap.

CAUSES
A number of health conditions, allergies, genetic factors and irritants can cause different types of dermatitis:
• Atopic dermatitis (eczema). This condition often occurs with allergies and frequently occurs in families in which members have asthma, hay fever or eczema.
• Contact dermatitis. This condition results from direct contact with one of many irritants or allergens, such as poison ivy; jewellery containing nickel, and certain cleaning products, perfumes and cosmetics.
• Seborrheic dermatitis. This condition is common in people with oily skin or hair, and it may come and go depending on the season. It’s likely that hereditary factors play a role in this condition.

RISKS
A number of factors can increase your risk of developing certain types of dermatitis. Examples include:
• Age. Dermatitis can occur at any age, but atopic dermatitis (eczema) usually begins in infancy.
• Allergies and asthma. People who have a personal or family history of hay fever or asthma are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.
• Occupation. Jobs that put you in contact with certain metals, solvents or cleaning supplies increase your risk of contact dermatitis.

COMPLICATIONS
Scratching the itchy rash associated with dermatitis can cause open sores, which may become infected. These skin infections can spread and may, very rarely, become life-threatening.

TREATMENT
Dermatitis treatment varies, depending on the cause. Using corticosteroid creams, applying wet compresses and avoiding irritants are the cornerstones of most dermatitis treatment plans.

REDUCING YOUR RISKS
• Use non-prescription anti-itch products. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can temporarily relieve itching. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (for example, Benadryl), may be helpful if itching is severe.
• Apply cool, wet compresses. Covering the affected area with bandages and dressings can help protect your skin and prevent scratching.
• Take a comfortably cool bath. Sprinkle your bath water with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal, which is a finely ground oatmeal that’s made for the bathing.
• Avoid scratching. Cover the itchy area with a dressing if you can’t keep from scratching it. Trim nails and wear gloves at night.
• Wear cotton clothing. Smooth-textured cotton clothing can help you avoid irritating the affected area.
• Choose mild laundry detergent. Because your clothes, sheets and towels touch your skin, choose mild laundry products that are unscented. Avoid fabric softeners.
PREVENTION
Avoiding dry skin may be one factor in helping you prevent future bouts of dermatitis. These tips can help you minimise the drying effects of bathing on your skin:
• Bathe less frequently. Most people who are prone to dermatitis don’t need to bathe daily. Try going a day or two without a shower or bath. When you do bathe, limit yourself to 15 to 20 minutes, and use warm, rather than hot, water.
• Use only mild soaps. Choose mild soaps that clean without excessively removing natural oils. Deodorant and antibacterial soaps may be more drying to your skin. Use soap only on your face, underarms, genital area, hands and feet.
• Dry yourself carefully. Whisk water off your skin with the palms of your hands. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel after bathing.
• Moisturise your skin. While your skin is still damp, seal in moisture with an oil or cream. Pay special attention to your legs, arms, back and the sides of your body.

Contact Dr Maxwell on 3631807/7575411 or maxwelladeyemi@hotmail.com

Read this article – 

Dealing with dermatitis

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.

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

Meet the native: Poison Ivy

Few would guess that this native plant of disrepute is in the same family as tasty cashews and pistachios. Poison ivy is typically seen clambering up trees with adventitious roots that sprout from aerial parts of the stem. The key to identification is poison ivys trifoliate arrangement, in which leaflets are present in groups of three.

Some other climbing vines are mistaken for poison ivy in Florida, like Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia); however, this look-alike presents leaflets in groups of five instead. To avoid confusion, remember the rhyme, Leaves of three, let them be!

Although nearly everyone knows to steer clear of poison ivy, a substantial percentage of people do not develop a rash upon contact. People who are allergic to poison ivy recoil from its touch to hopefully prevent an itchy or blistering condition caused by its sap. While it seems no one would dare experiment with poison ivys juices, it served as an ink in the past since its initial yellow color darkens upon drying.

Many people may overlook the fact that poison ivy fulfills a role in local food webs. Plants just sprouting from the ground that we may tromp upon are grazed by deer. White flowers, though visually insignificant to us, bloom on older vines and attract honeybees for pollination. The resulting fruits are devoured by songbirds in need of extra energy during tough winters. This is also the season to easily identify poison ivy since some red-tinted leaves blink among drabber foliage like festive lights.

Andee Naccarato, Department of Education and Conservation, Naples Botanical Garden

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Meet the native: Poison Ivy

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