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Living Lawnmowers to Give Hancock's Resolution a Manicure

Pasadena, MD (July 20, 2009) - The Department of Recreation and Parks will employ an unusual tactic to remove invasive species from Hancock's Resolution Park -- bringing in 40 goats to do what comes naturally.

On Sunday, August 2, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visitors to the park in Pasadena can observe a herd of goats grazing on invasive vines and undergrowth. The department has formed a unique partnership with Friends of Hancock’s Resolution and Sustainable Resource Management, Inc. to make this possible.

"In this tight budget time, it is always helpful to find creative solutions and leverage partnerships," County Executive Leopold said. "The goats are a welcome sight to help us out and also give area children a chance to come enjoy them along with the park."

For two days, goats will graze within the Park’s half-acre forest nibbling invasive vines, thereby giving seedlings of native oaks and hickories a chance to grow. Bittersweet and honeysuckle are overtaking the forests throughout Anne Arundel County and crowding out our native plants. After the goats have completed their task, the restored area of Hancock’s Resolution Park will be used as an interpretive area providing a spectacular view of Bodkin Creek.

For safety purposes, the herd will remain contained within a portable electric fence. The animals will be checked daily and provided food, water and shelter. Following two days of munching at the Park site, the herd will move on to a privately contracted job on Gibson Island.

"This use of goats for targeted grazing serves as a role model for other parks and sends a strong conservation message to the community," County Executive John R. Leopold said. "Goats provide a unique opportunity to move toward economical, sustainable and ecological weed control and away from methods relying on the use of heavy equipment or herbicides."

Normal Park operation hours are Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. April through October. Situated on Bodkin Creek and occupied by the Hancock family until 1962, Hancock’s Resolution is an Historic Park in the Anne Arundel Park System located at 2795 Bayside Beach Road, Pasadena, Maryland 21122.

The farmstead links historical Anne Arundel County and the Chesapeake Bay. Bodkin Creek has played a major role in local and national nautical history, from the explorations by Captain John Smith in 1608 to skirmishes during the War of 1812. Visitors learn about daily life on a pre-civil war farm.

Learn more about Hancock’s Resolution and the Friends of Hancock’s Resolution


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