El Monte Cemetery Association was looking for a way to get the local communities involved at its historic cemetery located at 9263 E. Valley Boulevard between Valley Boulevard and Mission Drive just west of the streets merging in Rosemead, just south of Rosemead Park. Savannah Memorial Park is known as an American graveyard with California Historic Landmark 1,046.
One of the association board members thought about bringing in goats to eat the weeds and grass in an environmental approach that would also attract attention and bring people to the cemetery that maybe hadn't visited before. "Wow it worked very well," said Johnny Gonzales, operations manager for Environmental Land Management, the company which provides the goats. "A lot of people go by the cemetery and see the 175 goats and stop and are amazed at the goats and the history of the site," continued Gonzales.
"Goats are least amounts of emiters of methane among all the grass eating animals," continued Gonzales. "The goats eat the grass and weeds and when they eat it and process it somehow their waste eliminates most seeds from the weeds." He said the goats are bioclean and biogreen.
Beverly Morten of the cemetery association responsible for maintaining the historic cemetery, said the goats grazing have been a blockbuster to bringing the community to the cemetery. She said some local schools have visited for a learning experience about the goats and the cemetery. She invited people to learn more about the cemetery by visiting its web site www.savannahcemetery.org.
The next event at the cemetery will be a beautification day on April 30, and people are invited to volunteer fixing the historic site.
The goats will be at the cemetery through sometime Friday, April 8. There is no fee to visit the cemetery and parking is on Valley Boulevard just west of where Valley and Mission merge.