Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

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September 24, 2018

Grazing Goats Return for an Encore

By Bruce Gerson

The goats made their first trip to Carnegie Mellon in September 2017.

Goats from Allegheny GoatScape are coming back for seconds.

The hungry, four-legged, eco-friendly landscapers will return to Carnegie Mellon, Sept. 28 - Oct. 3 to eat the new growth on the hillside between the Gates Center and Purnell Center for the Arts.

“It’s basically a repeat performance from last year,” said David Wessell, a supervisor for Facilities Management and Campus Services (FMCS). “The landscape in this area was designed to be a natural Pennsylvania hillside covered with mostly herbaceous perennial plants that grow back every year.”

Last September, a herd from Allegheny GoatScape made its initial appearance to clear the site as part of an FMCS trial program in support of the university’s Green Practices Committee and commitment to a healthy environment. The goats eliminate the need for pesticides, reduce fuel consumption for landscaping equipment and provide natural fertilizer. They also eliminate the danger involved for humans working on the steep hillside.

“For us, it’s a combination of production and promotion of green practices,” Wessell said.

An electric fence will keep the goats in the work area. The herd will be joined by a miniature donkey that will protect them from stray animals that may wander into the site.

Allegheny GoatScape is a nonprofit organization working in and around Pittsburgh to reduce invasive and unwanted vegetation in public and private spaces and vacant lots.