You may have HERD that we have goats on campus. NaviGOAT over to Memorial Park on Wednesday July 19th to learn all about how they are helping mitiGOAT our invasive plants, fertilize the soil, and restore our native oak savannah. Yari Johnson (Professor of Reclamation), Tera Montgomery (Professor of Dairy Science), and Amy Seeboth-Wilson (Sustainability Coordinator) will talk briefly about the project and then answer any questions you may have.
- Wednesday July 19th, 3-4 p.m.
- Where: Memorial Park - meet on path next to Greenwood Cemetery. Free parking is available in lot 22 next to Glenview Commons (on Greenwood Avenue)
This Project is made possible by the Campus Sustainability Fund
Frequently Asked GOAT Questions
First things, first, SAFETY:
- Do not touch the goats or the fence (it is electric)
- Do not feed the goats
- Do not let dogs near the goats (on leash or off)
Why are there goats on campus?
- Goats graze all day and can go through up to a quarter acre a day of dense material per 30 goats
- Our goal is for the goats we brought on campus (40 in total) to cut back on (by eating) invasive species such as invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard
Where are the goats?
- They are located in a two acre area southwest of Greenwood Cemetary in Memorial Park
- We will be watching them and if they eat all the greenery available in this area, we will move them to a new location
What are invasive species?
- In Executive Order 13112, invasive species are defined as “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health”
- In layman’s terms, it’s a species that’s in an area it isn’t native to that’s then harming the area it was introduced to
Why do we care about invasive species?
- They harm native species by overtaking areas and competing for shared resources
- They can cause the extinction of both native plants AND animals!
So why don’t we just use chemicals?
- Though applying chemicals would be a faster solution, they would cause just as many environmental problems as they would solve!
- Using goats to control invasive species like invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard is a much more environmentally friendly way of getting rid of the problem without permanently damaging any native plants and without putting dangerous chemicals in the soil or into the water table!!
So what exactly is happening with these goats??
- The goats are residing in a two acre area near Memorial Park by the southwest corner of Greenwood Cemetery
- They will be in that area from July 10th until roughly July 30th for a total of 20 days
- They are enclosed in an electric fence for the safety of them and any visitors they may have
Where did you get the goats?
- We are renting the goats from Green Goats LLC, out of Monroe, Wisconsin
- If this project goes well, we are hoping campus may be able to develop our own goat herd in the future so that we can continue to manage our xx acres of open space in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way
What about the goat’s safety?
- Goats are used to living in harsh conditions (think rocky mountain tops)
- Our goats have access to shade, water, and plenty of food; when they run out of greens o eat, we will move them to a new location
- Goats are kept in this safe space by the electric fence, and potential predators are kept out by that same fence
US Fish and Wildlife Services at https://www.fws.gov/verobeach/PythonPDF/CostofInvasivesFactSheet.pdf
Ecology Project International at www.ecologyproject.org/invasive