Goats Grazing in the Graveyard

Media Contact: Lauren Maloy, 202-543-0539, lmaloy@congressionalcemetery.org

Media must RSVP to lmaloy@congressionalcemetery.org for event.

WHAT: Goats Grazing the Graveyard: Media Event

WHEN: August 6, 2015; 1:00 pm

Goats On-Site: August 6 -August 20, 2015 (Dawn to Dusk)

WHERE: Historic Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

Gatehouse located at 18th and E Streets, SE at Potomac Avenue

Follow interior signs to goat area.

WHO: Paul K. Williams, President, Historic Congressional Cemetery


Have you ever seen a green goat? Come to Historic Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill on Thursday, August 6th, and watch a herd of Browsing Green Goats in action. The goats will spend around two weeks at the cemetery helping to control invasive species that threaten this National Historic Landmark.

The non-profit Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery is bringing goats from Prosperity Acres in Sunderland, Maryland, to graze temporarily along the perimeter of the cemetery.

This innovative environmental project will clear the exterior fenced area of invasive species using nothing other than 30 dairy goats. The goats will graze 24 hours a day for around two weeks, eliminating vines, poison ivy, ground cover and even fallen debris, while also depositing slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. The use of goats eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and prevents the invasive species from killing large mature trees in the cemetery’s wooded area. If the vines are allowed to grow too thickly they can strangle the trees, which can fall onto the grounds and damage valuable historic headstones.

The goats will also benefit another group of cherished cemetery inhabitants – our honey bees. Clearing the invasive foreign vines out allows native plants more room to grow, and that will assist our busy little pollinators.

“This project combines natural and cultural resources, providing the perfect solution for us since we are located so close to the Anacostia River edge,” stated Paul K. Williams, President of Historic Congressional Cemetery, “We don’t want to utilize chemicals due to our riverside location and because of our membership only, off-leash dog walking program.”

Williams noted that this will be the second time the Cemetery has brought in a herd of goats to perform grounds-keeping duties. “We were amazed two years ago at the sensation these little guys caused, but when we saw the excellent job they had done, it made complete sense to bring them back again.”

The public is encouraged to visit this unique living project, Aug. 6-20. The livestock will be penned outside the burial areas in a 1.6 acre wooded area for approximately 14 days, but they will be easily visible to those walking in the cemetery, open dawn to dusk.

Congressional Cemetery is a private cemetery established in 1807, and is the final resting place to more than 65,000 individuals, from ‘residents to President’s alike.’For more information on Historic Congressional Cemetery http://Congressionalcemetery.org or visit us on our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram.

High resolution images of Congressional Cemetery for media use (Credit Congressional Cemetery):


For more information about Prosperity Acres’ Browsing Green Goats, and pictures of them in action (Credit Jacqueline Bowen):




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