BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sometimes, only a goat will do, or in the case of Towson University, 20 goats, as the university turns to nature’s weed whackers to help clear the weeds.
Harmony Church Farm’s slogan, “Our Kids Love Weed,” is more than a pun, it’s spot on, as 20 goats munch their way through weeds in Towson University’s Glen Arboretum.
The arboretum is made up of plants and trees native to Maryland. The goats are going after non-native invasive plants, especially vines.
“Goats are particularly good for this type of work, because it’s sloped and it’s not an area to get machinery in, and they love this type of vegetation,” Veronica Cassilly, with Harmony Church Farm, said.
So much so, an especially tasty vine can spark a little friendly competition, and for students, there’s no denying the attraction:
“Yeah, they’re so cute. Look at them,” said Towson University student Haleigh Thomas.
“I think it’s really great they’re doing this without machinery,” Towson student Katelyn Eckstine said.
“The goats get lunch, and Towson gets rid of the English ivy that’s bringing down the trees,” said student Angel Rodriguez.
The goats are just the first stage in clearing invasive plants.
“Once the goats are gone, then we come in with a shovel, dig up the roots and haul it away,” said botanist Dr. Jim Hull.
Kept enclosed by a low voltage electric fence, the goats will spend the week on campus, going back to the farm in the evenings.
And according to the university, they’re strictly fair weather goats. They don’t work in the rain.
This is the fourth year the university has employed the goats to go after invasive plants on campus.