Goats Are Helping Get Rid of Invasive Species at Aquinas College
Well it sounds like it's more eco-friendly than the alternatives - not to mention cuter! Aquinas College is bringing goats to campus this summer to graze on invasive species and brush, to remove unwanted plants in a sustainable manner.
The Grand Rapids' college collaborated with the City of GR and the Urban Agriculture Committee on the project.
Aquinas' director of sustainability, Jessica Eimer Bowen, said in a release,
Sustainability is part of Aquinas College’s identity, and we wanted to find an eco-friendly way to handle undesired growth on campus while being good stewards of our campus and our creek. This project uses sustainable landscape management as an alternative to the use of herbicides and equipment that uses fossil fuels and pollutes the air.
From July 17-23, approximately 20 goats will get to grazing in two areas on campus: the wooded area in front of the Academic Building and the wooded area between Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel and the Theatre Arts Annex, along Coldbrook Creek. The herd will be accompanied by Garrett Fickle, co-owner of Munchers on Hooves, who will help guide them from patch to patch as they munch on the weeds and brush.
Now before you go thinking that you'd like to hire these goats to come to your place for some weeding, currently an ordinance prohibits goats and other livestock in the City of Grand Rapids. While this method of invasive species control has been used in other parts of Michigan, it is new in our area. So Aquinas and the Grand Rapids Urban Agriculture Committee worked through all the details to get approval from the City on this project, which could possibly affect regulations in the future involving livestock.