Wellesley’s Fuller Brook Park Coordinating Committee, which is working with the town’s Natural Resources Commission on the multi-year Fuller Brook Park Improvement Project, might be calling on some real live goats to help with the job in years to come.
The park project, for which the committee will seek funding approval at next month’s Town Meeting, addresses 3 issues: a deteriorating and hodgepodge path (map of park here), the stream quality and invasive vegetation.
It’s the vegetation part where goats could come in handy, according to Janet Hartke Bowser, director of the town’s Natural Resources Commission, who has been doing the rounds at various town boards and committees to apprise them of the latest plans and funding details. She says goats could help rid the park of invasives like Japanese Knotweed and poison ivy.
Bringing in goats is just an idea being kicked around, not a done deal by far.. But the chemical-free approach is one that has worked in other communities, including Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. Outfits such as Eco-Goats have popped up to serve this growing need for grazers.
If you haven’t been on the path in recent weeks, take note that DPW vehicles are tearing up a couple of sections between the State Street and Hunnewell Elementary School to put in sample path material that is hard when dry and softer when wet to see how it holds up, how plowable it is, etc. (the sample I saw looked/felt kind of like concrete). Two different widths of path will be tested as well. The town plans to have volunteers man the paths at some point to survey users about how they like the materials, widths, etc.
(For more on the park project, check out a Globe report that sums up the latest on final design phase funding, a good chunk of which is expected to come via the Community Preservation Committee …additional funding for the actual construction phase will likely be cause for a debt exclusion that town residents will need to OK). Completion of the entire project could still be 5 years away.