November 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 65

Parks Give New Meaning to
" Take Your Kids to Work Day "

E

"

very town needs a goat
patrol. " This was the unequivocal conclusion of
Carrboro, North Carolina, resident and blogger
Tao Oliveto after the town's Parks Department brought in a herd of goats to
devour brush, weeds, and vines invading park areas. Carrboro is just one of
many parks systems across the nation
that have eschewed the use of human
labor or chemical treatment in favor of

rented herds of weed-chomping, vineinhaling goats.
In Upper Merion, Pennsylvania, a
Philadelphia suburb, two goats cleared
the 10-acre Bob White Township Park in
September of the vines that had overrun
it. The goats are property of a townshipowned farm, and the effort was essentially a pilot project to determine whether
they would make a viable alternative to
human-powered mowers for Upper Merion. According to Dan Russell, the parks

and recreation director for Upper Merion, the program seems to be working
well for the township so far.
Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) in Washington has rented a herd of goats on
three separate occasions now. Nancy
Johnson, the public relations manager for
the Tacoma park system, explained that
all three of the agency's " goat projects "
involved a partnership with the local Citizens Helping Improve Parks (CHIP) program. A citizen leader, Charlotte Valbert,

Metro Parks Takoma

	

www.NRPA .ORG

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Parks & Recreation	 63



November 2010 - Parks & Recreation

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