Remember the Poison Ivy Goats? You Can Adopt One Now

Sponsoring a goat’s return to the trails costs $20/month

Sponsoring a goat's return to the Hike-and-Bike Trail costs $20, though you can donate more (Photo by Getty Images)

If you’ve visited the Hike-and-Bike Trail in the last month, you’ve probably seen the Trail Conservancy’s newest and cutest attempt at controlling poison ivy and other invasive species: goats.

While they’ve finished their job for now, they were a hit, and the Trail Conservancy is already looking for ways to bring them back. So they’ve started an Adopt-A-Goat program so you can sponsor a goat’s return for $20 a month or a one-time gift of $240.

“We were delighted to see how happy people were to see the goats,” says Cassie Bernhardt, chief development officer at the Trail Conservancy. “This is a way to make sure we can bring them back – hopefully in October.” If able to raise enough money, the Trail Conservancy plans to partner again with Rent-A-Ruminant, which supplied, watched over, and personally named each of the 150 goats from this past session. Donors will receive a certificate with the name of their goat and will be able to look for their goat hard at work upon their return.

The goats’ impact goes beyond boosting the moods of trail users, because they’ve effectively eaten up poison ivy, which doesn’t cause them irritation as it does for humans. “We’ve had very good control of invasive species and poison ivy in the spaces that the goats have been in,” says Collin McMichael, conservation manager at the Trail Conservancy.

McMichael and Bernhardt hope to see the goats as part of the ongoing plan to fight poison ivy and invasives. Someday, the goats “shouldn’t be new and exciting anymore, because we want people to be bored of goats,” jokes McMichael. He quickly counters, “Not really — we could never get bored of goats.”

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify that the cost of sponsoring a goat is $20 a month and not just a one-time cost of $20.]

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Goats, Hike-and-Bike Trail, Poison Ivy, The Trail Conservancy

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