Amazing Graze: Goats Get to Work at PHS

Imani Warren, Contributing Writer

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Outside of Pattonville’s Athletic Center is a garden that Ms. Amy Schwendemann (PHS science teacher and the 2018 District Teacher of the Year) has created for students to have an interactive experience with gardening. Over the summer, however, the garden became plagued with weeds along with other unwanted greenery that overtook the garden by the time students returned in August. A quick fix was needed. Some may have used a weed-killer, or an other harsh chemical, but Ms. Schwendemann had a better idea. Goats. “I heard someone mention it on the radio on my way to school,” she said.

She contacted Goats on the Go, a company that transports the yard and garden clearing animals to overgrown locations for a fee. Essentially, the goats can come and get rid of the weeds by eating them. This beneficial alternative prevents her from using harsh chemicals in order to get rid of weeds. Tuesday morning, goats headed into Pattonville High to attack the monster that was her garden. These goats come from a farm and stayed at Pattonville for a period of about 48 hours. Within this amount of time, their appetites provided a thorough cleanup of Ms. Schwendemann’s garden and plenty of entertainment for students and teachers. They even landed Pattonville a segment on Fox 2 Now Local News.

Places like Branneky Hardware and other local companies helped fund the project. Some students were able to have some interaction with the goats and take pictures, while other saw them eat away through the fences. Overall, the goats have lifted spirits at Pattonville while putting an environmentally friendly twist to a common problem.