Grazing goats to launch new environmental stewardship project at the University of Richmond

April 23, 2018

The University of Richmond will welcome a herd of kids this spring to its campus.

Their assignment is to eat the invasive species as part of an eco-corridor project.

The University of Richmond is joining others who recognize that goat browsing is an environmentally friendly landscape management project.

The goats’ arrival will initiate a four-part eco-corridor project intended to restore and revitalize Little Westham Creek and the area surrounding the stream that connects the southeastern portion of UR’s campus with the James River. The project includes the removal of invasive species, storm water management, stream restoration and the construction of a multi-use recreational trail from Westhampton Way to River Road.

“Little Westham Creek and the land surrounding it perform important ecological functions,” said Rob Andrejewski, UR’s director of sustainability. “The Gambles Mill Eco-corridor project highlights UR’s commitment to stewardship by supporting a healthier James River and creating a welcoming habitat for the people and the animals that call our campus home.”

“Invasive species reduce biodiversity, negatively impact ecological land function and are less hospitable to native fauna,” added Andrejewski. “By incorporating goat browsing into our invasive plant removal process, we can meet these challenges head on, while also reducing the need for herbicides and gas-powered equipment.”

The herd will reside in a contained area on the outskirts of UR’s campus for twelve weeks. Following invasive species removal, construction on the Gambles Mill Eco-corridor will begin in the fall with an expected completion next spring.

University of Virginia, William and Mary and the James River Park System have all successfully implemented goat browsing as a mechanism for invasive species removal.

So far, no one has said whether the goats will be assigned extra credit.

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Note: Visual opportunities can be scheduled on Tuesday, April 24 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.