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Goat landscaping at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

The goats are back to work in the area to take care of invasive species, this time at the national military park. Get prepared to hear about this adorable and environmentally-friendly method.

NOOGAtoday | Goats at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Meet the GOATs of landscaping.

Photo by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Remember when we talked about an interesting form of landscaping over at Stringers Ridge? Let’s goat back to it because these adorable landscapers are currently working hard over at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Fort Olgethorpe, GA.

If you journey to Snodgrass Hill, you will see 65 goats (and soon to be up to 150+) chomping away at invasive species in a ~10-acre area. Clearing the Himalayan blackberry, multi-flora rose, bush honeysuckle, and privet that has taken over the grounds will allow for native species, like coralberry, to flourish again.

NOOGAtoday | Goats

While there is an electric fence protecting the goats + no petting is allowed, visitors can visit the area and watch them hard at work.

Photo by NOOGAtoday

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Museum Curator Abbey Vander Sluis said the park chose to utilize goats as a more eco-friendly + historically accurate alternative than using the prescribed burn or herbicide methods.

Vander Sluis added that when goats eat, they’re stripping the nutrients from the plants and seeds, making it no longer viable to regrow, similarly to how a fire burns something.

Bonus: Curious on all of the pros in goat-scaping? Check out these quick facts.

Similar to the Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors Department, the park contracted Knox Goats for this project. Knox Goats owner Keith Bridges said that this is the company’s first job over state lines + that once all goats are on site, they will be clearing 1.2 acres a day.

NOOGAtoday | Cleared fields

The goats have already cleared ~four acres of Snodgrass Hill.

Photo by NOOGAtoday

The park has signed on for a four-year contract to use this method of landscaping on several parts of its grounds to restore it back to its historical nature.

“The idea is that we want to have the view that would have been from up top, down below to watch how the troops would have stormed up during battle,” said Vander Sluis.

The project has totaled $47,510 so far, with future funds to be obligated towards it as needs are determined.

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