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City prepares to battle kudzu on newly obtained land parcel
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McMinnville officials may attempt to remove kudzu from a parcel of property on Sallys Alley. The land was donated to the city and is covered with the invasive plant. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The city of McMinnville is now the grateful owner of a kudzu patch.

“It’s nice to have that property donated to us, but we’ll have to have some kudzu eradication if we are ever going to use it,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “If we get somebody to do the kudzu eradication, Wally Bigbee wants to help with that. He’d like to make donation. Since he’s put so much time into the trail, I think he wants it to look nice.” 

Located beside the city’s property on Sallys Alley, the donated parcel of land is infested with kudzu. The plant is invasive and smothers other plants and trees under a blanket of leaves. The plant can grow up to 60 feet per season, or about 1 foot per day. Kudzu can also survive in low nitrogen areas and during droughts, allowing it to survive longer than other plant species. 

Sallys Alley offers hikers an entrance onto The Bigbee Trail. 

The extermination discussion was held during a meeting of McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

A serious conversation turned humorous with the next comments followed by laughter.

“He doesn’t want the Wally Bigbee Kudzu Patch?” asked Mayor Ben Newman.

Brock replied, “I don’t think do. I don’t think he wants that named after him.” 

“You could tie up some goats down there,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle. 

Newman said, “My father-in-law has some goats. We would just need fencing.” 

Goats are an Earth-friendly way to fight kudzu. According to Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit group that has used goats to clear kudzu and establish parks in that city, one goat can eat between 150 and 200 square feet of kudzu per day and because of their four-cavity digestive system, they will not leave behind any trace of the kudzu seeds or berries in their waste. 

No decision was made regarding kudzu removal.