St. John’s School is dealing with its overgrown weeds and blackberries in an environmentally friendly way: it’s hiring a herd of goats.
Michele Charles Thornquist, the school’s director of admissions and development, says volunteers have tried to keep up with the weeding but just can’t.
So, a herd of goats will arrive at noon on Monday May 17th and begin clearing approximately 6,000 square feet of steep, uneven “no-man’s land.” The 15 goats and chief goat wrangler Tammy Dunakin are from Rent-A-Ruminant. The goats will take about 3-4 days to clear the area and will be corralled by electric netting and Tammy’s sheep dog, Pearl.
St. John School is committed to environmentally friendly procedures whenever possible. The practice of involving goats in the removal of pesky vegetation provides many benefits to the environment and the local community. The goats cloven hooves make little impact and can naturally navigate the steep slopes and uneven terrain. Many of the goats at Rent-A-Ruminant are rescue goats and are part of a family. When they become unable to remain with the herd, they are retired to good loving homes.
When cleared, St. John graduate, Daniel Ericksen, will take on developing a use for the open space as part of his Eagle Scout project.