Two births among rented goats a highlight for Centennial Elementary youngsters

lpemberton@theolympian.comMarch 1, 2014 

First-grader Anders Cramer, 7, dressed as a superhero, is among the Centennial Elementary School students who volunteered Friday at the Olympia school to hold a goat for Don Miller of City Goat Farm and Zoo. The goats were brought in to clear invasive plants on school property.

LUI KIT WONG/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

No joke: There was some kidding around this week at Centennial Elementary School in Olympia.

A herd of about 30 goats arrived on campus Wednesday.

Their mission: to munch away on non-native blackberry bramble and other vegetation that’s taken over the school’s fenced-off stormwater retention and infiltration pond.

“It’s just an environmentally friendly way of getting rid of the excess vegetation,” Principal Alice Drummer said.

It’s the first time the Olympia School District has rented goats for weed control, communications specialist Conor Schober said. He didn’t have the cost of the goat service, which was provided by Spanaway-based City Goat Farm and Zoo.

“This is all uncharted territory for us,” Schober said. “Having the goats come on school grounds is less expensive than hiring the additional staffer needed to maintain these heavy growth areas.”

The goats were a big hit with the students — especially the two goats born on campus.

One of the babies was named Centennial in honor of the school, Drummer said.

“We went out there about five minutes after (one of the kids) was born,” fifth-grader Julia Delgado, 11, said. “It still had its umbilical chord attached.”

The goats are expected to be finished with their work in a few days, district officials say.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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