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In Kudzu War, Trees Atlanta Gets Four-Legged Help

Goats deployed to Boulevard Crossing Park

by Patch Staff

is bringing a herd of 50 goats from Whistlepig Farms to eat and eliminate 1.5 acres of kudzu in Boulevard Crossing Park, which is being built as part of the Atlanta BeltLine. Last year, the non-profit tree planting and conservation organization brought in a herd of 24 goats to eat kudzu and clear the way for future planting of native trees.

Boulevard Crossing Park — which provides approximately 21.5 additional acres of greenspace to the public — is located just south of Grant Park near the intersections of Boulevard and Englewood Avenue. But this part of the future BeltLine is ensnared with kudzu, a non-native plant that's wreaked havoc on the native plants of the Southeast.

That's where the goats come in.

“Goats offer a low-impact solution for controlling invasive plants on sites that do not contain sensitive or endangered plants as well as on steeply sloped properties,” said Blake Watkins, Trees Atlanta's forest restoration coordinator. “Each goat can eat 150 to 200 square feet of kudzu per day, so we expect the goats to clear this site in twenty-one days or less.”

Trees Atlanta’s goats are protected by a human shepherd and two guard dogs. The pilot site is surrounded by temporary fencing to keep the goats safe and on-task while they are working.

On  Sept. 21, Trees Atlanta will share more about the project and its Forest Restoration and Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum programs during a “Breakfast with the Goats” from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The organization also is looking for the public's help in naming the goats — girls' names, please — asks that they post name suggestions  to Facebook and Twitter. We have a suggestion to our friends at Trees Atlanta: "Gardena," which we're told is of Welsh/English origin and means "protected one."

If you come: Donations to Trees Atlanta are welcome, but the event is free and open to the public. Donuts and coffee will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants are asked to park and enter along the 500 block of Englewood Avenue SE in Reynoldstown. Those interested in attending can learn more and find a map at
www.treesatlanta.org.

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