goats – Whittier Day by day Information

For the last two decades, Whittier has found a way to remove weeds and potentially dangerous fire brush at Murphy Ranch Park without using herbicides or other toxic chemicals and without pulling them out by hand.

Instead, city officials hired MD Weed Abatement Service of Corona to bring in 123 goats this year, who feast on, to quote Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri, the city’s “fine cuisine” at the 48-acre Murphy Ranch Park, 16200 Las Cumbres Drive.

“It’s a great story,” Vinatieri said. “Staff came up with the idea. It’s become part of the cute stuff we do in Whittier. Whittier is becoming a foody destination and here are the goats who come to nibble on some of our hillside cuisine.”

But the goats do more than just look cute.

“They eat the weeds and brush, and they can climb the slopes that are difficult to get up,”  said Virginia Santana, director of parks, recreation and community services. “This is better than humans spraying and cutting off the weeds.”

The city paid MD Weed Abatement Services $8,000 for the job, Santana said. The goats clocked in June 13 and finished their contract Monday, June 21.

The company uses fences to control where the goats go, she said. They’re taken from one area of the wilderness park to another, Santana added.

The park was developed in 1969 as a wilderness or natural park. There’s no programming offered at the park and no restrooms. It has a natural ravine down the middle with three main trails, the longest traversing about a mile. Much of the park backs up to homes.

Among the few amenities are about eight tables accommodating as many as 40 picnickers, a drinking fountain and a horse trough.

It’s one of the few parks in Whittier where dogs are allowed and the only one in the city where you can ride a horse. Bicycle riding also is permitted as long as you keep below the speed limit of 15 mph.

The main entrance is at the parking lot at Youngwood and Las Cumbres drives.

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