Yesterday we went to see the garden and the goats at South Side Park for Goat Fest 2017. South Side Park is a 65 acre park in a ravine in the South Side Slopes area of Pittsburgh. It comes down almost to the flats, and we can walk there from our house. It is great that someplace so green and wild is so close to an urban center. For us, it is the best of both worlds.
Part of the park used to be a ball field where my husband played Little League when he was growing up. That section has been changed into a community garden. We have a little backyard where we can grow things, but the majority of houses on South Side have no yards or gardens. So this community garden is a great space for people who have no space to grow anything fresh.
A lot of the park is hilly and overgrown with vegetation. A lot of the vegetation is invasive, non-native plants — Japanese knotweed, anyone? Recently, Allegheny GoatScape has been hired to come in and clear out a 6 acre section of the park (I think it’s 6). This is a company that places a small herd of goats and a helper donkey in hard to access areas to be cleared. The goats wander around eating, the donkey keeps them moving, and the plants get removed. The goats will be in place 24/7 for another 5 weeks; after the section is cleaned up, native species will be planted to try to shift the vegetation growing in the park. The picture at the top of this post is the section fenced off where the goats are eating — they have their work cut out for them!