If you ventured down to the south end of the island this week, you might have caught site of a bunch of weed-eating goats that are back at Blakely Harbor Park for a week of environmental Stewardship on the hoof funded by the Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation.

The “herd-some” is deployed along the park’s south trail, and are there to suppress ivy, blackberry and other noxious weeds as only goats can: by eating them.

The goats hail from Vashon-based Rent-a-Ruminant and are comprised of “rescue” goats always eager to do their part for park restoration. The herd has worked Blakely Harbor Park several times in recent years, most recently munching invasive understory near the park meadow last summer.

The goats are one part of a progressive ecological restoration at the signature shoreline park. Student Conservation Corps, EarthCorps and year-round volunteer programs including the Parks & Trails Foundation’s ParksCorps follow the goats with weeding, mulching and other activities, say park officials.

The goats are funded by a grant from the Parks & Trails Foundation. The grant will also fund reintroduction of native plants this fall in areas cleared of invasives.

“The goats are a remarkably effective force in the fight against noxious weeds,” says Mary Meier, Parks & Trails Foundation executive director. “Once the goats are done, Student Conservation Corps can come in behind and dig out the roots and keep the area healthy and clear of vines.”

Deadline Fast Approaching for the Grand Old Fourth Parade 

The Grand Old Fourth of July, produced by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, is almost upon us. The event, staged since 1967, takes over the streets of Downtown Winslow from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a Pancake Breakfast, BYS Fun Runs, a Car Show, Street Fair, a Kid’s Zone, a Beer & Wine Garden, Live Music, and of course, the mile-long Hometown Parade, which is the high point of the day, featuring dozens of flags, bands, organizations, businesses and more – usually somewhere around 100 floats.

It’s a good thing that people come from off island to watch, because chances are a lot of our on-island population might actually be in the parade! It’s not too late to register your parade float, but you better hurry. The Hometown Parade deadline is this Friday, June 14. More information on the Grand Old Fourth of July visit: The Bainbridge Island Grand Old 4th of July – Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce (bainbridgechamber.com)