Ivy-eating goats clean up Sandy Hook park

A group of four-legged guests are taking a bite of a growing problem at Sandy Hook. Officials were looking for an environmentally friendly way to

A group of four-legged guests are taking a bite of a growing problem at Sandy Hook.

A group of four-legged guests are taking a bite of a growing problem at Sandy Hook. (7/24/13)

SANDY HOOK - A group of four-legged guests are taking a bite of a growing problem at Sandy Hook.

Officials were looking for an environmentally friendly way to eliminate an overgrowth of poison ivy at Fort Hancock, and found it by bringing in a small group of goats.

Larry Cihanek from Green-goats.com says the plant, which has irritating effects on most humans, does not affect the goats in any way, and happens to be one of their favorite foods.

"The longer the vegetation grows, and higher it grows, the more disruption to the masonry here that's been here for over 120 years," according to Sandy Hook Unit Manager Pete McCarthy.

The process is cheaper, and the goats are a lot more willing to take on the project than human employees. As an added bonus, officials say having the goats in the park increases visitors by about 20 percent.

McCarthy says the oils from the plant do come through the goats' coats, so the animals should be left to enjoy their meal.

There are 11 goats on site right now and 10 more will be brought in next week. They will be at the park through late fall.

The project is costing the nonprofit Sandy Hook Foundation $12,000.

For more on the goats, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612. 
 

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