Goat Busters clear vegetation at Burley Middle School

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The next phase of the field restoration project at Burley Middle School is requiring the use of something other than manpower.

“When you’ve got poison ivy and kudzu and overgrown backyards, who are you gonna call?,” Goat Busters owner Jace Goodling asked.

Goodling unleashed a heard of around 40 hungry goats into the brush next to historic Burley Field Tuesday, June 1.

“We install an electric net fence around the perimeter of the targeted area, and then we install whatever number of goats we think we’ll need to do the job in an efficient amount of time,” the owner said said.

Goodling says the goats won’t stray away from any task.

“Goats will go into anything, and they’ll eat their way into a jungle,” he said.

While the goats munch their way through the vegetation, they’re helping clear the space for where some of central Virginia’s G.O.A.T’s (greatest of all time) will be honored.

“Our goal is to build a walk of fame to Black student athletes and Black community members in Charlottesville in central Virginia,” H3 Baseball President Jeff Burton said.

Burton says he has been working alongside the Burley Varsity Club on this field restoration project.

“We anticipate some beautiful columns, maybe a gate with some signage, and then some memorials, some plaques that talk about the history of baseball from the Black community in Charlottesville, the history of football, and ultimately, maybe, individual names that came in are played on these fields,” he said.

Goodling says the job should take about a week, and the goats will work around the clock, but don’t worry, the vegetation has been pre-checked to make sure the goats, won’t be harmed.

“Goats cannot eat anything and everything,” he said. “They don’t eat car batteries they don’t eat grandma’s apron, and there are certain plants that are toxic to them. So we have to check all the sites to make sure none of those plants are there.”

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