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Dan Mausolf, Radrick Farms Golf Course, Ann Arbor, Michigan

John Reitman

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Radrick Farms Golf Course at the University of Michigan is going to the goats.

 
Goats have been an eco-friendly way to remove undesirable plants from Radrick Farms Golf Course at the University of Michigan. Photo by Ann Arbor NewsIn late June, 10 goats from Twin Willow Ranch in nearby Milan were brought in to clear out a host of invasive plants that include honeysuckle and poison ivy. 
 
According to superintendent Dan Mausolf, Radrick Farms is the first course in Michigan to use goats for landscape management.
 
Course officials said they chose a natural approach over a process that would have included mowing down the plants, pulling them by hand and spraying out what's left. They say Frederick Matthaei, the University of Michigan graduate who converted a gravel pit into a farm before donating it to his alma mater, would be proud of the decision to use goats over a chemical solution.
 
The use of goats also fits in with the university's overall environmental philosophy. The 275-acre course is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course and was the first course in the state to be recognized by the state's Department of Environmental Quality as a clean corporate citizen.
 
The goats have been penned in with an electrified fence, the course says, to keep them corralled and protect them from coyotes.


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