People running and walking along the Charles River in Watertown this week have gotten quiet a surprise – a herd of goats roaming the trees near the riverbank.
Forty goats have been brought in this week by Goats to Go, which was hired by a Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) contractor, said farmer Alan Aulson. They have been attacking the poison ivy in the wooded area near the new Braille Trail, off Charles River Road, east of Watertown Square.
“They were going to get the poison ivy done anyway, and this is a safe, environmentally quiet way to do it,” Aulson said.
The goats love to munch on the weeds that are so bothersome to humans.
“For them it’s literally just another piece of lettuce,” Aulson said. “They are fond of it. They go right to it.”
Aulson and his wife Maureen set up a fence around the area they want to target, and put the goats to work. The fence has a small electrical pulse, Aulson said, so the goats don’t try to push through it.
The goats normally live on a farm in Georgetown, Mass., along with sheep, horses and a llama, said Maureen Aulson.
Normally, Goats to Go works on the North Shore at people’s homes, or land with poison ivy problems. For jobs of that size 10 goats normally works.
This job was farther afield the Aulsons have set up their RV for a couple days along the banks of the Charles River. Aulson said he expects the goats to be there through Wednesday.
They have had many curious visitors who wandered upon the goats.
“There are tons of people in the evening,” Aulson said.