The Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC has been having a bit of a problem with their landscaping. Like many other parts of America it is fighting a losing battle with invasive plant species that are putting the lives of the cemetery’s trees and headstones at risk. Furthermore, most of these species are plants like kudzu, poison ivy, and English ivy which are difficult to efficiently get rid of with conventional equipment like lawnmowers and weed-whackers. While this won’t bother any of the cemetery’s residents like J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa it’s becoming an increasing problem for those of us who are just visiting.
Well their grounds crew has come up with a novel idea to tackle this problem. Last Wednesday 58 goats rented from a local farm arrived and they were let loose to eat everything that they could find and they’re doing a great job at eating up all of the invasive species plaguing the cemetery. Mountain goats love to eat vines like poison ivy and can more easily access terrain that motorized equipment can’t reach. Additionally, using them has the added benefit of not having to use herbicides and pesticides that would pollute the local watershed. For the past five days they have been working 24 hours a day clearing about half an acre per day of unwanted vegetation. At a cost of only $4000 per week the cost of the goats’ services comes out to only 25 cents per goat per hour which makes them a huge bargain compared to people. So if by any chance you find yourself visiting the Congressional Cemetery soon, don’t be surprised if you see a goat stuffing his face and bleating at you. They’re just doing their job.