Dozens of goats return to Converse Heights neighborhood


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A herd of 40 goats have reported for duty in the Converse Heights neighborhood in Spartanburg.

The ultimate goal is for the goats to chow away at 16 acres of land filled with invasive plant species, which includes Poison Ivy and Kudzu — that have taken over the Crystal Springs Ravine. Kudzu can grow up to 30 to 100 feet long and can overpower other species and large trees.

“The goats go in and they clear out a large area where we can get into, some areas where we one couldn’t and it makes it easier on the manpower,” Anthony Radziewicz, Project Manager at Trees Coalition, said. “We will come in with some hand tools and sever some of the vines that are climbing up the trees.”

The goats’ clean-up efforts are just a portion of a larger restoration project led by the neighborhood association and the Trees Coalition that began in 2019. The project began after residents raised concerns about increased traffic, unkept vegetation and trash lining the roadways.

Experts and residents fear the ravine will become an eyesore filled with trash and detract from property values and the beauty of the neighborhood.

There’s also a large amount of wildlife that exists in the Converse Heights area such as owls, fox and turkey that could feel the impact of the invasive plant species.

Neighbors said the goats were in the neighborhood last year and are thankful to have them back.

“Last year I came out and took all sorts of pictures and of course a lot of other people did as well. They’re very entertaining and they make funny noises and you can hear them from a ways away and sometimes sounds like a baby is crying sometimes,” Converse Heights resident Melissa Johnson said.

Visitors are welcome to visit the goats, avoid feeding or touching.

The goats are expected to graze in around the ravine for about 3 months or until the job is done.

Click here for full details about the Crystal Spring Ravine Restoration Project.

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