Students Study Use of Goats to Combat Invasive Plants at Kaukauna Environmental Center

Local News

Kaukauna’s 1000 Islands Environmental Center first attempt at eradicating invasive plants by letting goats have a go at them has come to an end. 

For 12 days, the goats ate just about everything in sight inside a half acre test plot.

The goats have gone back home to Mulberry Lane Farm in Hilbert, and now Kaukauna High School students are hard at work to determine if the experiment is working.

“We came a couple days before the goats were brought in, we just took random sampling to find out within our quadrat what plants we had,” Kaukauna Senior Meghan Nyman explained.

The students came back Wednesday morning to study that same area.

“They’ll be able to figure out what plants have been defoliated, or all the leaves eaten off of them” Debbie Nowak, a Naturalist at the Environmental Center said, “[then] figure out what other plants were eaten throughout the study.”

The A.P. Environmental Science students will then compile all of the data together, and help the environmental center decide how to proceed with the goats.

“We wanted to start out small just because we wanted to see what the logistics would be like,” Nowak said. “If we continue with our testing, we’ll continue to test this small area to see what the long term effects are going to be.”

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