SAVANNAH – Goats are roaming Savannah’s cemeteries, and they’re not here to visit relatives or bury their kin. They’re here to help control invasive vegetation – and to save the city some money.
Michael Swanson of Get Your Goat rentals brought 53 animals from his Atlanta farm to Savannah. On June 20 they began roaming 3 acres at Laurel Grove North Cemetery. The goats save the city on lawnmower purchases and landscaping services. They’re also more eco-friendly.
“They are really low impact on the ground,” Swanson said. “Bring a bulldozer through here and it’s going to ruin the entire soil structure. The goats – about 100 pounds each – the heaviest ones are really good here. Everything they eat goes through their system and the seeds they eat, 98% them are sterile. So they won’t be replanted.”
Too much vegetation has been a problem at the cemetery.
“It used to be, many years ago, where you could stand next to the Juliette Gordon Low gravesite and see the other side,” said Laura Walker, Savannah’s environmental administrator. “You really can’t do that now.”
The goats are performing a public service.
“It’s been years sense the ravine has been managed,” Walker said.
The public is encouraged to come out and visit the goats.
“This a public space, it’s open every day from eight to five,” Walker said.
Goats not kidding around at cemetery