The goats were so successful in clearing seven acres in the Wilderness Area that they loaded up and headed home earlier than planned.
About 150 goats from Rent-A-Ruminant® Texas were in the Park to naturally cut or “mow” overgrown vegetation, cleaning almost seven acres of Park land.
Goats, which graze on many varieties of grasses and plants, are an effective, eco-friendly, and sustainable solution to vegetation management. This approach will clear unwanted or undesirable plant species and remove extra brush, negating the need for commercial mowing and the use of herbicides.
If you would like to donate to continue the Go For Goats project in Brackenridge Park, please click here.
The goat “mowing” project, cosponsored by San Antonio Parks & Recreation, will focus on seven acres of land around Brackenridge Park’s Wilderness Area along Brackenridge Way. Here, they will remove plants that have overtaken natural areas and hiking paths. The public is invited to view the goats “at work" through the end of May.
Goats will be contained in designated areas via portable electric fencing and managed by a goat wrangler. Guests are asked not to touch, engage with, or feed the animals, for their safety and yours.
“This idea was brought to us by the Houston Arboretum, which is in its third year using goats to control vegetation around their ponds and savanna,” said Joe Turner, Executive Director, Brackenridge Park Conservancy. “Eco-friendly solutions to managing Brackenridge Park may be just the beginning. If this project is successful, it could be considered for other City parks.”
“We’re excited to welcome the goats to the Park and eager to see them in action over the next two weeks,” said Homer Garcia III, Director, San Antonio Parks and Recreation. “Many thanks to the Alamo Heights Terrell Hills Garden Club and Brackenridge Park Conservancy donors for spearheading this eco-friendly effort for the Park.”
Rent-A-Ruminant Texas provides a workable alternative to traditional land clearing, chemicals, or commercial mowing. A large portion of the herd comes from animal rescue or private adoptions and includes eight different breeds of goats, including Nubian, Boer, Kiko, Savanna, and Nigerian Dwarf. Goats on site are from one to 10 years in age. All of them have names.
Animal Care Services reviewed and approved the permit for the contracted livestock operation which allows for the humane use of the animals to clear vegetation at Brackenridge Park. This accommodation was made in coordination with the Parks and Recreation Department and Brackenridge Park Conservancy.
Hiring goats was made possible through the generous donations of the Alamo Heights Terrell Hills Garden Club and BPC donors from the 2021 Big Give SA fundraiser.
For more goat photos, click here.