Goats Invade St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes Lower School Campus

By James Cullum

ALEXANDRIA,VA- Need a sustainable way to remove invasive plants? GOATS. That’s right! A herd of goats from the Eastern Shore near Centerville, Maryland, visited the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes Lower School campus for a week consuming roses, honeysuckle, English ivy, multiflora rose, and more. The goats controlled the invasive plants naturally, rather than using poisonous chemicals that both kill wildlife and leave toxins in the soil and water supply for decades.

This is the second year the goats have visited SSSAS. Most of the vines they consumed last year have not come back. Fun Fact: Goats consume 25-30% of their body weight daily and eat 12-18 hours a day! Their droppings will also help to fertilize the forest floor.

Classes have been able to observe the goats as well and weave their visit into the curriculum. Encouraging students to think about long-term effects and benefits is a critical part of our role as educators and one of the most profound lessons of sustainability. So let’s goat to it!