Goats on Campus

Instead of herbicides or noisy machinery, beginning December 20 La Reina High School & Middle School will turn to goats to clear its adjacent open space property of weeds and brush. Goats can knock down vegetation in hard-to-reach places such as steep slopes or heavily overgrown areas where using machinery would be difficult or too damaging.

Both La Reina High School & Middle School and the Sisters of Notre Dame have done their due diligence over the years in maintaining the required 100 foot fire break on the hill next to the school and Notre Dame Center. However, in light of the recent fires, the school was offered a unique opportunity from an alumna, Emily Volpe Morris, to use a natural way to eliminate any flammable vegetation on the hill. Emily and her husband Scott, of 805 Goats, are providing between 120-130 goats to graze on the hill during the months of December and January. 805 Goats uses portable solar electric fencing, which keeps the goats safe, as does surveying the area for poisonous plants before the goats are introduced.

La Reina has fostered sustainable/green development projects on its campus over the years. La Reina students have a “Green Club” and one of their recent projects was to ban all plastic water bottle sales from the campus. Students are excited by the arrival of the goats and will be observing the impact of the goats on the school’s hill. The goats will graze 17 acres and are expected to accomplish total weed abatement with their 100% natural approach. Goats not only eat the plants that are currently growing, but they also naturally target the plant’s seed heads and eat those first, effectively reducing the number of seeds that get replanted. This method effectively and safely controls future growth. 

The City of Thousand Oaks is just one of a growing number of local governments that are seeing the benefits of green initiatives. City officials, including Supervisors Linda Parks and Peter Foy as well as Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin were present to observe the release of the goats on La Reina’s property. 

For more information, please contact La Reina Director of Facilities, Laird Wilson at 805-495-6494 ext. 1041 or lwilson@lareina.com.