Adkins Arboretum Receives Grant for Targeted Goat Grazing



Adkins Arboretum recently was awarded a grant from Shared Earth Foundation for Targeted Goat Grazing Restoration, a pilot program to test the efficacy of goat grazing as a sustainable alternative to burning and herbicide application in managing invasive plant species.

In this three-year program, the Arboretum will partner with University of Maryland Agricultural Extension (UMAE) and University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) 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, including poison ivy, 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 about the benefits of grazing over more traditional, less sound techniques for managing undesirable vegetation.

“The Arboretum has been fortunate to have an ongoing partnership with Shared Earth Foundation,” said Executive Director Ellie Altman. “In these difficult economic times, the Foundation’s support is critical to enable the Arboretum to continue its important work promoting ecological restoration and specifically the management of invasive nonnative plants.”

Based in Chestertown, Shared Earth Foundation is committed to the tenet that all creatures have an enduring claim to sustainable space on the planet and that humans are responsible for sharing and preserving Earth’s resources for future generations and for enriching and protecting wildlife habitat.

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 or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Photo by Nevin Dawson