A local nonprofit group is looking to bring goats to a popular park in order to clear an invasive species without using chemicals.
The New Canaan Garden Club has proposed a monthslong project inside Irwin Park, according to information disclosed Tuesday during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
Asked about the project, Garden Club President Ellen Zumbach said Irwin has “a significant invasive problem” with plants, “particularly with Japanese Knotweed, where it’s encroaching on the Flexi pave path,” Zumbach said. “It’s called the bully of invasives—it really spreads a lot.”
According to Zumbach, the goats would be confined to an area near the gazebo and would be corralled in some fashion.
“They’re very sociable and friendly animals,” she said.
The proposal came up at the selectmen meeting during a discussion of general matters facing the town. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Kit Devereaux tabled the item to the June 18 meeting.
The Garden Club recently interviewed a company that has had goats dispatched to high-profile public parks such as Prospect and Riverside Parks in New York. Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based Green Goats handled those jobs.
“It’s just in the planning stages, but this particular company likes them to stay several months to continue to weaken the plant,” Zumbach said.
The Garden Club hopes that this will serve as an environmentally sustainable solution to the problem of invasive species at Irwin Park and possibly even bring more foot traffic to the park, Zumbach said.
“We needed to do something,” Zumbach said. “We thought that this might be a great green alternative, plus it has an educational element to it.”