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By Rebecca VanHorn, D&L Intern
Though I’m still a rookie here at the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, it’s safe to say that the characters I’ve met thus far are wild. From Hank and George to those pesky geese, the animals and wildlife in Hugh Moore Park keep things interesting at the D&L.
Our two work mules, Hank and George, welcomed me with snorts and sneezes. Hank caught me a little off guard and quite off balance as he nudged his nose into my shoulder, which I understood as a preliminary inspection of the newest recruit. I soon found these mules to be an important part of what makes the D&L special; Hank and George bring history to life by providing students and visitors a genuine canal boat experience. As visitors float up and down the canal with Hank and George pulling them along, it’s no surprise they feel engaged with the history of this region.
The goats are helpers that visit periodically to mow the river bank. They have the important task of eating up invasive plant species, allowing naturally-occurring plants to grow up after their departure. The goats effectively mow down the high grass and weeds along the Lehigh Riverbank, and they have proven to be the most effective and environmentally ‘green’ addition to the grounds crew yet. Though I look forward to meeting our goats personally, I am even more excited to see the look on the faces of Hugh Moore Parks’ visitors as they attempt to discern exactly what breed of furry friends are munching in the park.