PPS hires goats to clean up invasive plants

PPS hires goats to clean up invasive plants

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by Katherine Cook, KGW staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 8:37 PM

PORTLAND --The Portland Public School District turned a thorny problem into a delicious meal for a herd of goats.

The district hired “Goat Power” -- a team of 39 goats and a protective llama-- to eat away nearly half an acre of overgrown invasive plants growing behind the district’s headquarters.

Goat Power owner and Shepherdess Brianna Murphy runs the business and said her business specializes in clearing brush from hard to reach areas without using herbicides.

“You can’t drive a lawnmower in here, so we put all the goats in here, instead,” she said.

Besides being environmentally friendly, district officials said Murphy’s method was half the cost of hiring a landscaper to do the job. Ten years ago, the district drastically reduced their grounds-keeping budget.

“After walking in here and realizing what we were up against, I thought goats were just the answer,” said Mark Franklin, Grounds Department Supervisor for the district.

Murphy said it would take the goats three to five days to finish the job, leaving room for re-growth of native species.

“I love finishing a job and feeling like I changed the place where I was,” Murphy said.

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