A Green Solution to an Overgrown Problem

  • goat eating weeds

A group of 50 goats is tackling a problem at Washington Elementary School in a more natural manner. Salt Lake City School District has leased the goats to handle the weeds and brush on the steep hillside behind the school. The small herd from 4 Leaf Ranch is an environmentally friendly alternative for eliminating cheat grass and other plants that have overtaken the hillside.

The sure-footed goats can handle the steep hills, are better for the environment and children's health than weed killing chemicals, and leasing the goats for this purpose costs less than half of what it would normally cost to clear the area.

"It's a natural approach to dealing with this without using any kind of harsh chemicals of any kind. This is the more natural approach to taking care of this overgrown vegetation," said Ricardo Zubiate, Assistant Director of Facility Services for the district. "This job cost is about $3,000 compared to $8,000 or higher for other removal methods."

This is the third year the district has used the goats to clear the hillside behind Washington. An electric fence keeps the goats corralled and eating in the right areas. Zubiate says there is one goat in particular that is known as an escape artist, but there have been no problems because a goat herder from 4 Leaf Ranch stays with the goats the entire time. 


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