Goats tackle poison ivy problems in New York, New Jersey

July 24, 2013 2:53:35 PM PDT
Goats from upstate New York are the first line of defense to stop a poison ivy invasion at some historic spots in New York and New Jersey.

Fort Wadsworth is under attack. An invasion of weeds is threatening to overtake the outlook to New York harbor.

"They've only been here a week it was inundated with vegetation. They've already cleaned up," Kathy Garolfalo, of Gateway National Recreation area, said.

The troops devouring the enemy are a curious herd of goats.

"They're opportunistic feeders. They clear everything," Garolfalo said.

Eight adults and 12 kids eat 20% of their body weight each day.

"They eat vines, bark. Opportunistic eaters," she said.

They are gobbling up Japanese knot weed and chomping down poison Ivy.

"Poison ivy is fine. They don't get a rash or sick from it," Garolfalo said.

Overgrowth threatens the view. It's very steep terrain, unless you're a goat

"We can't get equipment like mowers up there or even weed wackers," Garolfalo said.

The goats just got hired at the Jersey Shore to clear poison ivy around Sandy Hook Light House. It's a $12,000 dollar job. It's less expensive for taxpayers and a chance for park goers to get a better view.

A farmer in upstate New York employs the 60 goats working for Gateway National Recreation area.

To learn more about this green project "goat tours" happen on Sundays at 11am at the Fort Wadsworth overlook on Staten Island.

Click here to visit Fort Wadsworth online.