Goats on Campus

In April 2018, more than 100 goats arrived in the Eco-Corridor on the University of Richmond’s campus to assist with the removal of invasive plant species. Though still novel, goat browsing is an increasingly common, environmentally-friendly landscape management practice that reduces the need for herbicide and gas-powered equipment. Goats are well-suited to remove plants such as porcelain berry, English ivy, Japanese stilt grass, and other hard to manage non-natives that can be resistant to other methods of removal.

For the six weeks that initial herd was in residence, the goats achieved near-celebrity status. Students, faculty, staff, and community members were enamored by the new “kids” on campus. Dozens of media outlets from Miami, Florida, to the Bellingham, Washington, covered their arrival. The goats became important ecological ambassadors, bringing awareness and excitement to the stream and natural area restoration project.

In late Spring 2019, the goats made a triumphant return to campus, clearing invasives from an area between the sorority cottages, the Westhampton Tennis Courts, and behind the Modlin Center. The herd handled unwanted vegetation in record time. Goats made their way back to the Eco-Corridor in Fall 2019 and were spotted on campus in October 2021.


Using Goats for Your Landscaping Needs

When clearing overgrown areas, goat browsing results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and eliminates the need for herbicides that can harm pollinators. Both companies the University has used for invasive species removal, Goat Busters and RVA Goats and Honey, rent out goats for landscaping at commercial and residential areas. If you're interested in having goats help landscape your yard, you can contact the companies for quotes.