Gardeners Ask Doylestown Borough For Help With Critter Control

DOYLESTOWN BOROUGH, PA — Pretty much everything was routine at Monday night’s borough council meeting until the discussion turned to a fence-scaling, vegetable eating critter that has been raiding the community garden on South Church Street.

During public comment borough residents Judith Stratton and Diana Resek, who help oversee the borough-owned gardens, asked for the borough’s help in finding a solution to its uninvited guests.

“We have a serious problem with varmints,” Judith Stratton who coordinates the garden project told council. “I’m not talking cute little bunnies. I’m talking a Texas-sized groundhog.”

It seems a giant-sized varmint, believed to be a groundhog, has been scaling the fences to gain access to the banquet of fresh greens and vegetables being cultivated at the garden by borough residents.

And Resek said she actually saw it happen.

“I was in the garden last week in the middle of the day. I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she told council. “I saw this big brown furry thing climbing up the side of a well built fence and then going head first down into the garden.”

And it’s not just the groundhogs, said Resek. “There are rabbits running through the garden, too. They have no shame.”

“They turn around and look at you as if to say, ‘Hi.’ And then they keep on eating,” said Stratton.

The gardeners have spent a lot of money this year on fencing to keep the critters out, but to little avail, said Resek. “We have new people joining the garden, but after everything is eaten, they get discouraged and drop out.”

And that’s a shame, she said, because there’s nothing healthier than a physical activity like gardening. “And this is one of the few places in the borough where we can do that,” she said.

“We need some advice and some help. We’ve tried to trap them. It’s never been like this,” said Resek.

“You can look at a tomato one day and it’s perfect and you know you can pick it tomorrow. Well tomorrow, it’s too late,” said Stratton.

After listening to the gardeners, Borough Manager John Davis said he’ll have the public works crew take a look and see what can be done. “I’m afraid it might end up looking like Caddy Shack,” he said to laughter from council.

“We have smart people with a lot of ingenuity in our public works department. We’ll see what they can come up with,” said Davis.

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