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'Eco-Goats' Trim The Grounds At U.S. Congressional Cemetery

posted 7 Aug 2013, 17:40 by Mpelembe   [ updated 7 Aug 2013, 17:41 ]

For seven days, 'Eco-Goats' clear "invasive species" on the the grounds of theCongressional Cemetery, and satisfy their hunger in the process.

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (AUGUST 7, 2013) (NBC) -  It's an environmentally friendly win-win for invasive specie removal at the graveyard and the goats. The goats get to munch on overgrown brush, and theCongressional Cemetery doesn't have to dump chemicals on to the weeds, which would run the risk of running into the nearby Anacostia River.

"We have a wooded area adjacent to the cemetery that is full of invasive species, and we needed to clear those species out because they were killing our trees," said Paul K. Williams, president at Historic Congressional Cemetery.

Maryland's Eco-Goats are an ingenious approach to weed removal, harnessing the goat's natural hunger for leafy greens as the primary mechanism behind the task, which traditionally involves pollutant chemicals.

They even eat species dangerous to humans, like poison ivy.

Two groups of fifty goats arrive at the cemetery in a horse trailer. One by one, they hop out, and take to overgrown trees and ivy faster than any machete or weed whacker could.

To prevent them from walking -- or relieving themselves on the tombstones of the famous cemetery -- the Eco-Goats group sets up an electric fence around the hungry eaters.

Former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and U.S. Vice President Elbridge Gerry are buried in the graveyard, which bears the title of 'congressional', but is not exclusive to members of U.S. Congress.

For seven days, these goats will graze an area of about 1.6 acres, and are expected to clear everything that is seven feet tall, or below.

"The goats are penned in an area about 1.6 acres, and we expect everything between seven feet (2.13m) and below to be consumed by the goats," Williams told a reporter about the initiative.