Bill Coslow, landscape supervisor with facilities services at Oregon State, hired Murphy after hearing her present at a conference several years ago. He said the university is interested in trying out cost-effective, herbicide-free approaches to landscape management, and wanted to give the goats a trial run.
“This is for our own evaluation and serves as a demonstration to others on campus,” Coslow said. “We’re interested in anything that uses no herbicides and doesn’t need fuel for equipment, and doesn’t require us to haul off the brush and send it to a landfill.”
Upon completion, Coslow will probably have student workers lop off any remaining stems and cover up the area with cardboard and mulch, to see how much of the ivy can be killed off. English ivy is particularly vigorous, but he said if even half the area is successfully cleared he will consider it a success. And if the numbers work out, Murphy could be hired for more projects in the future.
For more on this article visit http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/lifeatosu/2014/goat-herd-hired-to-remove-invasive-species-from-campus/