November 17, 2019
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South Portland to deploy goats to beat back invasive plants, reclaim public park

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
A goat is seen in the barn at Lally Broch Farm in Frankfort in this BDN file photo.

The city of South Portland announced Tuesday afternoon it will deploy a group of goats to “eat and trample” invasive plants currently choking up an underutilized park.

The city’s Parks and Water Resources Protection departments are using $15,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to reclaim Yerxa Park, which a Tuesday news release described as densely covered by Japanese Knotweed and other invasive plants.

Because of the heavy vegetation, the park “isn’t very inviting to the public,” according to the release.

Well, goats tend to make everything better.

The goats will spend a week at the park this month battling back the invasive plants in their own special way, followed by another week of intensive goat treatment in the spring of 2019. Once that feasting and trampling is complete, the city will roll used carpeting or heavy landscaping cloth over the knotweed area for two or three years before planting native plants and establishing trails and signs.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the day of the announcement from the city of South Portland.

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