by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Rachel McCollum leads a herd of goats into a feeding area at Tanner Creek Park. The goats were brought in to help remove invasive blackberries at the park. If you’ve been to Tanner Creek Park in West Linn recently, you may have noticed a band of unfamiliar creatures milling about and munching the grass in a fenced off area.

About 70 goats from the Yoder Goat Rentals company arrived at the park in early June as part of an effort to rid the area of invasive blackberries. In the process, they also became a popular attraction for families and young children.

“They’re really popular, everybody’s been really happy with them,” Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester said. “And (Yoder) was really good letting people get close to them, setting up petting days, things like that.”

Of course, the goats were really there to perform an important job — one that would have been difficult for the parks department to complete without some furry help.

“It’s a complex area for us to get into,” Worcester said of the 2.5 acre space the goats occupied. “We can’t really get equipment in there, but it’s easy to cordon off for the goats.”

Indeed, Worcester said goats were also brought in to clear space when the park was being built 12 years ago. The parks department deploys goats semi-regularly in the less accessible areas across West Linn.

“They’ve done a good job,” Worcester said. “They’re not too discriminating about what they eat, but that’s OK. We kind of know that going in.

“There are some areas where goats aren’t the best answer, but in this case they were.”

The goats left the park earlier this week, but may return later this summer in a different location.

“We might move them into Wilderness Park for awhile,” Worcester said. “It would be more toward the end of the summer for some ivy.”

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Goats are a common solution for invasive plant problems at West Linn parks.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The goats may return later this summer at Wilderness Park.

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