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State brings in goats to clear area for community garden

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) brought in a herd of goats to an East Portland neighborhood to clear out an overgrown blackberry thicket and make room for a community garden. DEQ says they're assisting the nonprofit group Green Lents as thy hope to install the Malden Court Community Orchard at Southeast 87th Avenue and Malden Court. Green Lents asked the state to help determine if the property, which is owned by Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, is safe enough for a garden, according to DEQ.

The proposed garden site has problems with illegal dumping, trespassing and is currently home to unruly and invasive blackberry, according to Green Lents. DEQ says they plan to do soil sampling at the proposed community garden, but they have to clear the blackberry first in order to get to it. DEQ says grant funds from the EPA made it possible to use the goats at the proposed garden site. Soil sampling for contaminants is scheduled for April and DEQ says the results will be ready by late spring, or early summer. Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.