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Lebanon Piloting Goats, Sheep To Get Rid Of Poison Ivy

The City of Lebanon is piloting a new strategy to deal with poison ivy in four public parks. Six goats and one ram start their new job Tuesday, munching the itchy weed away.

Usually, it's the city's seasonal maintenance crew cutting down poison ivy with weed whackers. But, once it's cut, those poison ivy oils get in the air. Meaning, even if the crew was covered head to toe, a few would still get poison ivy, year after year.

So this summer, Lebanon's interim recreation director, Kristine Flythe, decided it was time to try out an idea she'd had for a while: bring in the grazers to get rid of the weed.

"Goats do a lovely job of trimming up the leaves, stripping the vines, and then the sheep will actually eat down to the root."

Flythe says using these animals is one way the city can stay away from herbicides and pesticides.

The pilot project will last a week or two and will cost $750.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at
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