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“Eco-Goats” to Storm D.C. Cemetery

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From Aug. 7 to 12, The Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C. is embracing a new type of green technology, one that will clear unwanted plant species while producing fresh fertilizer: “eco goats.”

A herd of more than 100 goats will be temporarily grazing along the edges of the cemetery, clearing a 1.6-acre area of invasive plant species such as vines, poison ivy, and other ground cover. The goats are being used in lieu of herbicides that could damage native plant species. This method will protect the large, mature trees in the cemetery’s wooded area.

Naturally, the goats will also fertilize the ground while they work.

The Association for the Preservation of the Congressional Cemetery partnered with Eco-Goats, a company that uses goats to restore land overgrown with unwanted weeds. The goats will be grazing 24 hours a day for six days. Although the grazing areas will be penned off, visitors to the cemetery will be able to see the goats—watching a herd of 100-plus bleating goats traipse around the cemetery could be entertaining.

The event will kick off with a media event Aug. 7, and the goats will be grazing for six days.


Bryan Bumgardner About the Author: Summer intern with Scientific American. Lover of anthropology, French and deep conversation. Follow on Twitter @@BryanBumgardner.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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