Pittsburgh Hired a Crew of Goats to Landscape the City's Parks

Michele Debczak
Steel City Grazers
Steel City Grazers / Steel City Grazers

Pittsburgh's newest civil servants will be hard to miss when they're on the job. On Wednesday, the city council voted unanimously to allow a crew of goats and one donkey bodyguard to graze in three local parks, WESA reports.

The farm animal landscaping squad will be provided by Steel City Grazers, which bills itself as "Pittsburgh's first goat grazing company." Their herd consists of 10 goats named Rueben, Cowboy, Daryln, Angel Face, Favorite, Kama, Ozark, Twinsie, Wimpy, and Boaz. A 6-year-old donkey named Hobo will tag along to ward off stray dogs.

In addition to clearing unruly brush at a rate of about one acre every two weeks, the goats are great at eliminating invasive plant species. The hungry fur balls prefer to chow down on difficult-to-remove vegetation like vines, poison ivy, and knotweed. By setting a herd of goats loose in a park, the problem plants are taken care of without the need for harmful chemicals. They're also capable of munching every last morsel out of tight spaces and other spots most landscaping machinery can't reach.

The goats and their donkey companion will be lodged in makeshift lean-tos on park property behind portable electric fences that are safe for people. Pittsburgh residents can expect to see the landscaping team mowing through public parks starting this June.

[h/t WESA]