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Waco Tests Eco-Friendly Goat Landscaping for Overgrown Areas

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Parts of Texas looking for eco-friendly ways and means of managing their landscaping can look to the recent example set by the city of Waco. In late May 2019, the Waco Parks and Recreation Department employed goat landscaping for the grazing of areas that city staff weren’t able to reach.

The landscaping program also assisted with clearing out invasive vegetation. The city got the goats for this unique opportunity by contracting Rent-A-Ruminant. With that, 120 of them were used for grazing. Just how effective was it? City officials stated that using goat landscaping negated the need for spraying (which means no chemicals were required) and subsequently enhanced employee safety.

Video: YouTube/KCENNews

The goat landscaping was employed in a stretch adjacent to University Parks Dr., between Bosque Blvd. and Waco Dr. in a designated area behind the Parks and Recreation office building. The Waco Police Department posted a video of the goats to their Facebook page with the caption: “New City Employees!” Those concerned as to whether these animals were left to their own devices need not worry. A Rent-A-Ruminant employee was assigned to stay with them as they grazed. This method of landscaping has been tried, effectively, by various other urban centers such as Boston, Chicago, and even New York. This form of conservation landscaping is easy, cost-effective, and can be super cute! the only issue is the possible smell, but in comparison to the exhaust from traditional lawn and landscaping equipment, it’s a good trade-off. One goat has the potential to eat five pounds of vegetation daily. With respect to tough weeds, goats are known for eating the leaves and any flowers and buds, leaving just a bare stick behind which will eventually die on its own. Patches on which the goat landscaping is used must be fenced, and the companies that rent them out will deliver and pick them up. Water is also made available for the animals. Then the goats do the rest!