No Kidding! Goats Clean Up Cemetery

PLYMOUTH, Pa. -- A cemetery in Luzerne County has some unique volunteers helping clean up.

A call for volunteers at Shawnee Cemetery in Plymouth got the attention of some unsuspected helpers.

"I drove by one day and saw the signs out here and I sent them a message," said Brian Vick, or as he calls himself "the goat master."

The man from Wapwallopen owns 16 goats and rents them out to help clear land. He's donated the services of his goats to help clear an overgrown section of the cemetery.

"Clean out brush, woody areas, woods, fields anything that is overgrown, the goats will eat, poison ivy, thistles, thicker bushes. It's amazing what goats will eat."

Vick says this is an easier and greener way to clear an overgrown area.

"In some areas, it's also more advantageous. The goats are able to get into places that are harder for humans – hillsides, steep areas, things that are rough terrain or equipment has a hard time. Humans don't really want to walk on a steep hill with a weed whacker and other pieces of equipment."

Shawnee Cemetery covers more than 13 acres and has around 15,000 burials across it.

With its location on the side of a hill, the cemetery's president says it could cost thousands of dollars to hire someone to tend to the cemetery and that it is hard to find volunteers.

"Today, that has died off. Now, if people visit their family's graves twice a year, that's great. I could be here for a week and maybe only see two people come," said Shawnee Cemetery president Tom Jesso.

The goats will be at the cemetery for another four to five days.


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