Goats may be the answer to the College's battle of encroaching brush.

Aquinas College says they're considering using goats to munch away at some invasive species of weeds encroaching on their east side campus.

Jessica Bowen, director of the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas, is looking into bringing the Coldwater-based Munchers on Hooves, a goat rental company, to get the munching goats on Aquinas’ campus to clear overgrown brush and weeds.

According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the specific problem is the buckthorn plant, which grows quickly and is hard to stop outside of harmful pesticides.

Bowen told the GRBJ:

"...goats love buckthorns. They will go in an area and eat it down to the point where it will die. They eat the fruit and the seed and (their digestive system) kills the seed so when they (eliminate their waste) they don’t replant the seeds. So, we want to bring the goats in … because it is cheaper and (environmentally friendly) rather than using pesticides.”

The goats would probably be on campus now, munching away, but for a Grand Rapids City Ordinance that prohibits farm animals from being less than 100 feet away from housing units and drains. The campus is in a pretty tight urban area.

Bowen says Aquinas is looking to get an allowance from the city to skirt the ordinance and let the goats do what goats do best: eat.

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