Organization brings in goats to clear Polish Hill hillside

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POLISH HILL, Pa. —

If you’re driving through Polish Hill Tuesday, your eyes are not deceiving you.

Goats have been strategically placed on a hillside in Polish Hill as part of a restoration project organized by Tree Pittsburgh.

The animals, known for eating anything and everything, are on the hillside adjacent to West Penn Park. Their snacking will prepare the hillside for planting of 110 restoration trees.

According to Tree Pittsburgh Tree Care and Restoration Coordinator Jake Milofsky, goats are regularly used to control invasive species in major cities across the country.

Unlike human volunteers, goats can navigate the steep hillside terrain without issue or safety concern. They also eat many invasive species, including some that may be dangerous to humans. Goats are light on their feet, so the trampling from their hooves will prepare the soil for planting later in the year.

"The City is excited to partner with Tree Pittsburgh on this innovative restoration project," said Lisa Ceoffe, City Forester for the City of Pittsburgh. "Given Pittsburgh's steep topography, goats could be the solution to controlling many of our overgrown hillsides."

The goats will be secured in the specified work area by an electric fence and managed by Brian Knox, supervising forester of Eco-Goats, based in Annapolis, MD. The goats will be visible from West Penn Park and Brereton Street.