With Goats, Glen restoration moves forward

Did you meet the goats on campus? Farm animals aid in the long-term care of TU’s woodland, put a smile on faces

By Rebecca Kirkman on September 21, 2019

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Towson University was home to more than Tigers as a herd of goats from Harmony Church Farm in Harford County, Maryland, descended on the Glen Arboretum.

They are part of ongoing efforts by the Glen Arboretum board of directors to control invasive species and increase the number of native plants in the 10-acre woodland.

An integral part of campus since it was dedicated in 1936, the Glen has been home to gardening education during the Great Depression, open-air theatre productions in the 1960s, and research for biology and geology students since the 1970s.

When it opens in fall 2020, the new Science Complex on the east end of the Glen will integrate science and nature. White oak removed during construction will be incorporated into the building materials, while an outdoor classroom will unite with the Glen both architecturally and scientifically.

The goats attracted many more visitors to the Glen than usual, including students, faculty and staff, and even members of the media. For some, the goats served as an introduction to a part of campus that was new to them.

“Many students I talked to today, this is the first time they’ve ever been in the Glen,” says James Hull, professor emeritus and member of the Glen Arboretum board of directors. He hopes the goats inspire more members of the campus community to utilize the resource.

“I think people have an innate need to connect with nature, and if this gets the kids to come down here and connect with nature—which is really so essential to mental health—it’s a win-win,” says Roni Cassilly, owner of Harmony Church Farm. “The goats are helping the forest, but they’re also helping each one of us.”

To support the Glen’s efforts to increase native tree count and maintain its wooded areas, donate to the Glen Arboretum Endowment.