Don’t Want to Throw Away Your Christmas Tree? Let Goats Eat It!

At Philly Goat Project's tree-cycling, goats will feast on your tree after the holiday season is through.

Instead of throwing out your Christmas tree, donate it to Philly Goat Project, whose goats will merrily chow down on the branches. / Photograph by Jerome Eno.

Yes, we know it’s still prime holiday season — but planning ahead is never a bad idea. Some people like to keep their tree up long after December is through, and others are ready to transition just days after Christmas. Whatever your vibe, there’s no denying that it’s always a bummer to see a Christmas tree cast out on the curb — let alone unceremoniously thrown into the back of a trash truck. But turns out, there’s a better way.

If you want to keep things merry and bright even after the holidays are over — and you have a vehicle at your disposal — all you have to do is bungee-cord your Christmas tree to the top of your car and make your way to Germantown. Why, you ask? Well, Philly Goat Project is hosting tree-cycling on select dates, to help you bid farewell to your beloved Christmas tree in a fun and generous way. Instead of it being destroyed by a garbage truck, your tree will be eaten by the organization’s ridiculously adorable goats. (Seriously, just look at how cute they are!)

To participate, all you have to do is contribute $20 and your Christmas tree towards charity in support of the Philly Goat Project at Awbury Arboretum. Your tree will be eaten by the goats and/or turned into wood chips that help line the trails around the arboretum, the goats paddocks, or in parks around the city! Your dollars go towards the Philly Goat Project’s mission of using “goats for the greater good” and providing free programming to the Philly community throughout the year, including “the Ramble,” their monthly inclusive, sensory-friendly space for folks with disabilities and their friends and family.

To keep everyone safe, COVID-19 precautions are in place, making this year’s event a bit different — they are not able to allow folks to visit and pet all of the goats, and are limiting the number of visitors walking around the farm. You can drop off your tree in their “express lane” or stay in your car and drive through the G.O.A.T. Christmas Safari (sign up for a time slot on the web site for the safari!) You can also just park on the street and walk in to see the goats eating the trees, but as mentioned, capacity is limited.

Just look at how happy they are! / Photograph by Jerome Eno.

The tree-cycling will take place at the Farm at the Awbury Agricultural Village (6336 Ardleigh Street) on Saturday January 9th, and Saturday, January 23rd. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., donate $20 and your undecorated tree — no tinsel, ornaments, or lights — and enjoy watching the goats chow down. This year they are also partnering with Philly Parks and Recreation to hold their third Tree Cycling event at the Fairmount Park Recycling Center (3850 West Ford Road) on Saturday, January 30th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday!

In case of inclement weather, tree-cycling rain dates are January 10th, 24th, and February 6th, respectively. Check Philly Goat Project’s website or Instagram for updates and for more details on safety precautions.

This story was originally published on December 26, 2019 by Laura Brzyski and was updated by Gina Tomaine on December 21, 2020. 

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