A field near the Nature Center at Poricy Park in Middletown is under attack by a weed that is choking out important diversity and robbing nutrients from the soil.
So the township is calling in the goats.
The Township Committee announced Monday that Poricy Park is a recipient of a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant to employ the famous herd of poison-ivy chomping goats who recently worked at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook and Staten Island before their furlough.
The goats will be let loose next spring on a rambling multiflora rose that has taken over a two-acre field located between the Nature Center and the Annex, at the mouth of the Murray Farmhouse Road. Township Planner Jason Greenspan said the goats will take three to four months to do their work, and will be contained by a fenced-in pen.
"It's a fun thing, and a unique way to get rid of longtime problem," said Poricy Park Associate Director Sharon Goodman, who plans to erect an informational kiosk to explain the weed-eating goats to park visitors. "We've watched it spread from across the road, and it keeps going further and further into the park," she said.
The field will be replanted with native grasses and wildflowers that have been obliterated by the sweet-smelling invasive rose, Goodman said.
Combatting weeds at the gorgeous park used for historical and nature programs is an ongoing battle. Presently the Park is successfully using the teeny weevil to attack the Mile-a-Minute vines that is choking trees.