A herd of goats are serving as a sustainable way to remove invasive plants on campus!
Need a sustainable way to remove invasive plants? GOATS. That’s right! A herd of goats from Eastern Shore Maryland arrived on the Lower School campus on October 1 and will be busy for a week consuming roses, honeysuckle, English ivy, multiflora rose, and more. The goats controlled the invasive plants naturally, rather than using poisonous chemicals that both kill wildlife and leave toxins in the soil and water supply for decades. In addition, recent EPA studies show that so-called “safe” removal chemicals (RoundUp) are known carcinogens.
This is the third year the goats have visited SSSAS. Most of the vines they consumed last year have not come back. Fun Fact: Goats consume 25-30% of their body weight daily and eat 12-18 hours a day! Their droppings will also help to fertilize the forest floor.
Classes will be able to observe the goats as well and weave their visit into the curriculum. In fact, the goats were blessed during the Blessing of the Animals event on the day of their arrival! Encouraging our students to think about long-term effects and benefits is a critical part of our role as educators and one of the most profound lessons of sustainability. So let’s goat to it!