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Haverford College Turns To Goat Power To Clear Unwanted Vegetation

By John McDevitt

HAVERFORD, Pa. (CBS) -- A Main Line college is using an  environmentally friendly way to control invasive vegetation.

No chemicals and no manpower -- just 28 goats gobbling up all sorts of vegetation in a one-acre section of a wooded, hilly area on the campus of Haverford College.

The animals are being rented from Brian Knox of Eco-Goats, in Maryland.

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(Brian Knox with some of his "Eco-Goats" on the campus of Haverford College. Credit: John McDevitt)


"This site has some native trees over top, but underneath it's mostly invasive (plants)," explains Knox.   "We've got Japanese privet.  We've got porcelain berry.    There's multiflora rose -- that's the big one.   There is bittersweet in here as well."

A temporary electric fence in put up to keep the goats in and predators out.

"It will open up the woods and give it a more well-kept appearance," says William Astifan, assistant director of facilities management for the college's arboretum.   "Getting rid of the stuff we don't want in there is the main thing we were after."

Although the project is running on "goat time," Knox expects this one to last about eight days.

Depending on the job, Eco-Goats costs $1,600 to $2,500 an acre.

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