Goats at Houston Arboretum: How, when, where to see them
HOUSTON - These aren’t your typical lawnmowers. A herd of goats is hard at work at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.
Officials say the goats will help to manage the landscape and mow down invasive species.
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"So we're a nature center, first and foremost, and we like to try and do things that help nature out here," says Christine Mansfield, senior marketing and development manager for the Arboretum. "And historically, this area would have had both grazers, not goats but more bison, and wildfires. And so, we've been bringing prescribed burns and grazers back to the Arboretum to help us manage this landscape in a more natural way."
Goats at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.
The goats started their shift on Thursday morning, chowing down on the vegetation.
"We've got about two-and-a-half to three acres that they're working on, and we expect them to be here for about a week. You know, it really depends on how hungry they are, some of the weather conditions," Mansfield says. "So anywhere from seven to 10 days, but we'll be posting on our social media to let people know when they're heading out."
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The goats can be seen between 7 a.m. and dusk, until they finish up their work and move on to the next job.
"We have about 150 goats out here, and they are from a company called Rent-A-Ruminant Texas," Mansfield says. "It's owned by Kyle and Carolyn Carr. And they actually take their goats all over Texas, helping nonprofits like us, as well as private landowners and municipalities to do just what they're doing right here – bring down some vegetation in areas that either it's hard to reach or that people might not want to use mowers."
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If you want to see the goats, you are asked not to feed or pet them. The Arboretum says the goats are helping to clear poison ivy and the oils could get on your skin.
The goats are working in the Wildflower Trail area. You can park at the Woodway Entrance, and keep to the sidewalks and trails. There is an electric fence to keep predators out, so don’t touch.
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