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Export tests out ‘goat-scapers’ on steep park hillside | TribLIVE.com
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Export tests out ‘goat-scapers’ on steep park hillside

Patrick Varine
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape clears a steep hillside Friday above the park in Export Borough.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Borough officials would also like to contract the company to supply goats for its property off of Borland Farm Road.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape clears a steep hillside above the park in Export Borough on Friday, June 7, 2019.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
The steep slope is little more than a snack for 10 goats and Hobo the donkey from the Homestead-based business.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape clears a steep hillside above the park in Export Borough on Friday, June 7, 2019.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape clears a steep hillside above the park in Export Borough on Friday, June 7, 2019.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
A herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape clears a steep hillside above the park in Export Borough on Friday, June 7, 2019.
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photos: Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Hobo the donkey keeps an eye Friday on a herd of goats from Allegheny Goatscape, while it clears a steep hillside above Export’s park.

The hillside next to the Export playground would be quite a challenge for the borough’s public works crew to trim.

But the steep slope is little more than a snack for 10 goats and Hobo the donkey, from Homestead-based Allegheny Goatscape.

“It would be tough to get someone in there to cut it,” borough Councilwoman Melanie Litz said Friday as her golden retriever kept a constant eye on the group of Nubian, Nigerian and Saanen goats who immediately began chowing down.

Allegheny Goatscape Executive Director Gavin Deming said the group will probably clear the land — about three-tenths of an acre — in roughly four days.

“The general rule is about two weeks to do an acre,” Deming said.

That is good news for borough officials, who would also like to contract the company to supply goats for its property off of Borland Farm Road. Council wants to do some select timbering on the 74-acre property, but was advised that they’d need to clear quite a bit of underbrush first.

Enter the goats.

“This is actually a really great place because it’s a community space,” Deming said of the playground’s hillside. “You have a good mix of vines, knotweed and other grasses. When they’re done, you’ll be able to see down to the little creek at the bottom of the hill.”

Deming erects temporary electric fencing, to keep the goats in place, and Hobo functions as a guard dog for the herd.

In the meantime, Litz said she plans to learn each goat’s name.

“I live right up the street,” she said. “They’re all going to be my friends.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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