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Adkins Arboretum Offers Targeted Goat Grazing Demonstrations

Adkins Arboretum Offers Targeted Goat Grazing Demonstrations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (RIDGELY, MD—MAY 17, 2011)

Invasive species crowd out native woodland plants and animals and can strangle trees and bring down limbs. Manual removal is labor intensive, herbicides can inflict damage on water, plant and animal resources, and machines often can’t reach these problem areas. But goats can! Goats graze in places that mowers can’t reach and humans don’t want to go, including bramble and poison ivy thickets.

Join Adkins Arboretum for Goats vs. Weeds: A Targeted Grazing Demonstration on Thurs., June 2 from 10 a.m. to noon or Sat., June 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. to learn how targeted grazing with goats can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of controlling invasive plants. Participants will see goats in action and learn how to implement this practice on their own land. Presenters will include Nevin Dawson, forest stewardship educator, University of Maryland Extension; Dr. Sylvan Kaufman, Sylvan Green Earth Consulting; and Brian Knox, president of Sustainable Resource Management, Inc. and supervising forester for Eco-Goats. Light refreshments will be served, including goat cheese. The program fee is $15 for members, $20 for the general public per session. Register online at www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Through a grant from Shared Earth Foundation, the Arboretum is partnering with University of Maryland Eastern Shore and University of Maryland Agricultural Extension in a three-year program to test the effect of grazing in eradicating aggressive invasive species in targeted areas of the Arboretum’s meadows. Banking on goats’ penchant for eating a wide range of undesirable vegetation, the Arboretum will host approximately 30 goats this summer to graze in meadow areas overgrown with invasive trumpet creeper. The goats also will graze at meadow edges where thickets of shrubs, vines and saplings threaten the survival of native species.

The program will provide data to a UMAE/UMES initiative to promote grazing as a widespread practice in the Delmarva agricultural community and will inform about the benefits of grazing over more traditional, less sound techniques for managing undesirable vegetation.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Photo: Adkins Arboretum will offer Goats vs. Weeds, workshops demonstrating targeted goat grazing as a method of controlling invasive plant species, on June 2 and June 4. Register at www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 for more information. Photo by Nevin Dawson.