Caitlinn Driscoll Cannon watched yesterday as a goat herder walk a flock of four to their first day of work on the Peters Hill side of the Arboretum, where they'll munch away the thick underbrush near the train tracks and Arborough Road, then be moved to a new area for more tasty weeds.
Getting used to their new home:
The regal goat:
The Arboretum is testing out the goats, on loan from a goatscaping company, to see how well they're do against a variety of weeds, including Japanese bittersweet, poison ivy and buckthorn:
If this method of biological control proves successful, the program may be expanded in the future and enable the Arboretum to minimize chemical controls, reduce mowing, and help us keep our plants and environment healthier. Space cleared by the goats will make room to further develop the Arboretum’s plant collections, an important element of the institution’s 10-year Campaign for the Living Collections.
The Arboretum adds:
The goats’ fenced enclosure is electrified, and can cause serious harm - please exercise caution and do not touch it. Keep all dogs leashed in the Arnold Arboretum landscape.