It is easy to see that our roadsides, open fields, woodlands and backyards are becoming overrun with invasive species and other unwanted vegetation. Machines often can't get to problem areas, humans hands are very labor intensive, and herbicides are dangerous to our waterways, soil, and desired vegetation, not to mention animals and humans.
If left alone, invasive plants take over our woodlands, strangling valuable trees and threatening important diversity. Open grasslands and neighborhood backyards become overrun, creating a loss in farming productivity, habitat for birds and other wildlife, and enjoyment of outdoor space.
When it comes to clearing unwanted vegetation, goats can provide an ideal alternative to machines and herbicides. They graze in places that mowers can't reach and humans don't want to go (yes, they love Poison Ivy). In fact, goats eat a wide range of unwanted vegetation, which on the East Coast include Kudzu, Oriental Bittersweet, Ailanthus, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Honeysuckle, Mile-A-Minute and more.
"This use of goats for targeted grazing serves as a role model for other parks and sends a strong conservation message to the community. Goats provide a unique opportunity to move toward economical, sustainable and ecological weed control and away from methods relying on the use of heavy equipment or herbicides... In this tight budget time, it is always helpful to find creative solutions and leverage partnerships. The goats are a welcome sight to help us out and also give area children a chance to come enjoy them along with the park."
-- Anne Arundel County Executive