Hungry Goats Aid In Removal Of Poison Ivy

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The Town Board poses with goats. (Photos courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Councilmember Veronica Lurvey and the Town Board have announced that goats have been officially released on town property to eat poison ivy, removing the invasive plant in an environmentally friendly manner.

“It is so important to protect and preserve our environment,” Supervisor Bosworth said. “By eating poison ivy, these goats will provide us with a simple, innovative, and environmentally friendly alternative to the use of pesticides and herbicides. Initiatives like this help us continue with our goal of being a model of resiliency and sustainability.”

The town has contracted with Green Goats of Rhinebeck in a pilot program that was passed unanimously during the April 22 Town Board meeting. The program uses two goats that will roam in a Town-built enclosure on a one-acre piece of town property at the corner of West Shore Road and Shoreview Avenue in Manhasset.

“Goats have been used in various locations across New York State to help remove invasive species without the use of pesticides and herbicides,” Councilmember Lurvey said. “We hope they enjoy their stay in North Hempstead.”

Typically, it takes at least two seasons of treatment to completely remove an invasive plant species. If successful and deemed safe, town employees will continue the rest of the removal. The town will then evaluate plans to hire the goats to clean up another portion of land in the same area.

—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead

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