The University of Georgia’s Chew Crew goats will be expanding their chewing into Driftmier Woods—a degraded patch of old-growth forest near UGA’s Driftmier Engineering Center.
The small herd of eight to 12 goats will continue consuming invasive, non-native vegetation at Tanyard Creek, and this year UGA students will also develop a mobile goat shelter and outdoor classroom in partnership with “junior herders” from nearby Barrow Elementary School.
The effort is funded in part by a $25,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund’s College Community Challenge.
Since 2012, the goats have reduced the abundance of invasive shrubs and vines growing along Tanyard Creek between Baxter and Waddell streets. UGA students and community volunteers have collaborated to monitor the goats’ impact on vegetation and water quality. Last year, with Ford C3 grant funding, the Tanyard Creek Chew Crew project expanded to include outreach to schoolchildren at Barrow Elementary.
The project will be led by students in the UGA’s Society of Environmental Engineers, in partnership with U.S. Green Building Council students, the Georgia Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology and Volunteer UGA. Additional assistance will be provided by several UGA faculty members, including Eric MacDonald, an associate professor in the College of Environment and Design; John Schramski, an associate professor in the College of Engineering; and Elizabeth King, an assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Professionals and student interns in the UGA Office of Sustainability will help coordinate the project.
“We look forward to working with students, faculty and other members of the Athens community to create a more sustainable UGA,” said Corey Klawunder, president of the Society of Environmental Engineers student organization. “The Ford C3 grant is the springboard by which we can bring to fruition our vision of a cohesive community that celebrates and protects its green spaces.”
Last year, more than 250 people contributed over 1,200 hours to help the Chew Crew improve campus green spaces. For details about the “Hands and Hooves for a More Sustainable Community” project, contact Mary Howard, Office of Sustainability watersheds intern, at email@example.com or 706-542-1301. Follow the effort online at http://www.facebook.com/tanyardcreekchewcrew.