Boston ‘Goatscapes’ City Park to Cut Fertilizer, Energy Use
The City of Boston is reducing its use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and energy by bringing in goats to clear brush in a city park and a municipal golf course.
“Because of the success last year, we decided to continue the Goatscaping program,” said Parks and Recreation spokesperson Ryan Woods. “It was a dreary-looking space filled with poison ivy. Six weeks later it was an opened-up field.”
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Some of the land was inaccessible to city workers, and had been left untouched for years. “Bringing in the goats will let us open those areas up, and we won’t have the noise from heavy machinery,” Woods said. “They eat these plants, remove all of the harmful oils and seeds, and produce a clean, natural fertilizer to the landscape.”
A single herd can chomp its way through one-third of an acre of shrubbery per week. “Consuming plants that are poisonous to people is par for the course in goats’ diet, and doesn’t harm them,” the Globe reports. And when “goatscapers” set more than one herd to work in tandem, their productivity increases. “When you up the ante and add another herd to the mix, it becomes a competition for them,” Woods said.
Elaine Philbrick, co-owner of Goatscaping Co., said neighbours loved having the goats nearby. (h/t to Environmental News Bits for pointing us to this story)