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50 goats help rid elementary school of invasive plants

Published On: Jun 03 2014 05:21:58 PM CDT

Photo courtesy Cari Torales

Goats at Lake View Elementary School

MADISON, Wis. -

Fifty goats were delivered to Lake View Elementary School Monday to help get rid of invasive plants, according to a release.

The goats will help get rid of buckthorn, honeysuckle and garlic mustard in the Lake View School Forest, officials said. Removing the invasive species will allow the oak undergrowth to develop in a natural way without the use of herbicides, and it promotes the regeneration of oaks and deciduous trees.

Vegetation Solutions’ goats have also worked at the Edgewood College Woods, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Schlitz Arboretum in Milwaukee, according to the release. Lake View is the first elementary school to rent the goats.

“Goats and sheep are natural vegetation managers,” said Ben Robel, with Vegetation Solutions. “We are harnessing their energy to help restore landscapes.”

Students helped raise money to bring the goats to Lake View with their No Kid Left Behind campaign, officials said.

“The goats enjoy eating the weedy plants, and our students enjoy meeting and learning about their new hooved friends,” principal Kristi Kloos said in the release. “It’s a field trip to our own school woods.”

The goats also help fertilize the woods while foraging on the invasive plants and trees, according to the release.

The goats will be at Lake View until Thursday afternoon.

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