Golden Gate Goes Green With Goats

Goats Aid Greening of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
Plus Additional Improvements of Seminary’s Carbon Footprint

Four hundred goats descended in July on the verdant hillsides of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, cutting the grass and the Seminary’s costs for landscaping staff. 

“We save approximately $5,000 in labor and materials by contracting with Goats-R-Us,” says Robert Dvorak, Facilities Management Director. He notes that additional undefined costs associated with Golden Gate staff doing this work are possible injuries from attempting to use mowers and weed whackers on the steep terrain or potential poison oak infections, both of which could incur costly medical treatment and loss of work time. 

The goats have been annual Seminary visitors for the past five years, and were stationed for three weeks on the steeper regions of the 120-acre campus. They were managed by a Chilean goat herder and two border collies, as well as a portable electric fence. The three different kinds of goats – alpine, angora and pigmy – are supplied with water, a salt lick, and all the delectable natural grasses and poison oak they can eat in three weeks on approximately 50 acres. 

Golden Gate is also swapping several of its gasoline-powered carts for four electric vehicles from Smith’s Golf Cars, Inc. in Rohnert Park. “We hope to dispose of at least three of our gasoline vehicles,” says Dvorak. “For one particularly old truck, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is paying us $650 to retire it.” 

Another “green” method which Golden Gate employs is the use of “Orange Spray,” an environmentally friendly alternative for a chemical termite spray. The campus as well as the dorms participates in an official recycling program. The Facilities Department recycles and correctly disposes of florescent bulbs, batteries, used oil and old paint. The Seminary is upgrading some of the boiler rooms to more efficient gas burners and more efficient pumps. 

“We appreciate the opportunities for the Seminary to be responsible environmental stewards of this beautiful spot in Marin County,” says Golden Gate Seminary President Jeff Iorg.