Goats are baaaa-aack in Dot Park

Cole and Chester won over fans with their goatscaping abilities last year. Photo courtesy of Boston Parks and Rec Dept.

After a very successful clean-up stint at Dot Park last summer, the “goatscaping” program, featuring a quartet of the four-legged herbivores and outfitted with a solar-powered electric fence, returned to the scene last Saturday morning to a munching site near the Richview Street entrance where the animals began their summertime residency.

This year, the crew has doubled in size; Cole and Chester, the pair of Nubian goats who called Dot Park home last August and September, will be sharing duties with two Lamancha goats, Juno and Butter.

Lisa Ahern, a Dot Park Association volunteer who was instrumental in setting up the furry landscapers’ trial run last summer, said that Cole and Chester earned a longer clean-up contract this year. They and their new associates will be working up their hearty appetites for poison ivy, brambles, and other undesirable undergrowth through the end of August.

With rates of $100 per week per goat, the program is seen as an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to maintenance work that would otherwise require pesticides or heavy labor.

However, Ahern pointed out, the goats’ residency in Dot Park is contingent on donations from the community. “We’re hoping to tap into the generosity of everyone who gave last year,” she said.

Last year, the goats’ success spawned goat-themed Christmas ornaments. Ahern hinted that the public may be in store for more such memorabilia this year.

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