School brings in goats to deal with unique problem; “They’re not eating anything that we consider valuable”

WAUKESHA -- A Waukesha elementary school has approached a problem with a very unique solution. The problem -- how to control invasive species on the 20-acre prairie project at Magee Elementary School. The solution? Goats!

Goats at Magee Elementary School

"What we've done is create an environmental education experience -- and that's what we call it. And we've invited about 400 students from other schools to come and see," said John Hallagan, teacher at Magee Elementary.

About 50 goats -- big, small, young and old -- are the centerpiece of a school project. The school owns 20 acres of pristine prairie -- never touched by pesticides. The goats are the school's solution to getting rid of invasive plant species.

Goats at Magee Elementary School

"And it came here and it's like, eating away at like native plants," said Kaja Chow, fourth grade student.

"If we don't have prairies, all the soil could like, wash away and like, get into the rivers and go into the ocean. And we can't use it anymore," said Tyler Willie, fifth grade student.

Goats at Magee Elementary School

The job given to the goats -- eat everything. The hope is they will eat plants like Buckthorn and Honeysuckle -- that zap nutrients from vegetation the prairie needs.

John Hallagan, teacher at Magee Elementary

"They're not eating anything that we consider valuable. The trees are really what's on this hillside. They're mature and the goats won't hurt them at all," Hallagan said.

Students will give presentations all week about the importance of prairies in our area.

Schoolwork aside, these students are just excited to share the green with their new friends.

"The black and white one we named Oreo -- and we named all the babies, Cutiepie," Chow said.

With one area cleared, the goats trot onto the next patch. Students and teachers alike leave them be knowing these animals "goat" this.

Magee Elementary paid $2,500 to have the goats for two weeks. CLICK HERE for more information to learn more about this innovative project -- or to make a donation to keep programs like this going.

Goat at Magee Elementary School