Campus News

Goat grazing program gets Ford Co. grant

The College of Environment and Design, in partnership with the College of Engineering and the Office of Sustainability, will use a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund to continue a two-year effort to remove invasive vegetation using prescribed grazing with the help of one of humankind’s oldest species of domesticated livestock—goats.

UGA’s “Grazing Our Way Back to Community Sustainability” project was one of the 10 selected for implementation.

The grant will support three sustainable community projects. First, it will allow the continuation of prescribed grazing research using goats to reclaim an overgrown and highly impaired stream on campus called Tanyard Creek. Second, a new prescribed grazing effort will be launched in Driftmier Woods—adjacent to the Driftmier Engineering Center—to begin restoring the old-growth forest.

Finally, the grant will allow the creation of a junior herders program at Barrow Elementary School to teach students the importance of reclaiming the community’s landscapes.

Ansley McKinney, president of the Society for Conservation Biology, will serve as the student leader for these projects with assistance from UGA faculty and staff, including Eric MacDonald, an associate professor in the College of Environment and Design; John Schramski, an associate professor in the College of Engineering; Elizabeth King, an assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; and professionals in the Office of Sustainability.

So far, the Tanyard Creek Chew Crew has engaged more than 500 volunteers who have donated nearly 1,200 hours. The Ford College Community Challenge grant—in the amount of $25,000—will assist in expanding these efforts and engaging additional volunteers. Project implementation will continue until spring 2015.