Calgary has hired 133 goats for weed management and grounds maintenance

Jul 31 2018, 3:30 pm

The City of Calgary has hired 133 new employees, though they’ve all got just one job: eat.

A herd of goats will be hard at work on Calgary’s McHugh Bluff until August 16, working long days to eat weeds, aerate the soil with their hooves, and naturally fertilize the ground behind them, according to a release from the city.

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They have been brought on as part of the naturalization process that is underway on Memorial Drive, with the Bluff falling under the Council-approved Biodiversity Strategic Plan — a plan that aims to restore 20% of Calgary’s open space by 2025.

The goats will be supervised by a team of shepherds, horses, and dogs as they graze the entirety of the Bluff, which will then be seeded with plants native to the area.

“Weed control and removal is an important stage of the naturalization process, and targeted grazing provides an environmentally friendly alternative to more traditional maintenance options,” said Chris Manderson, Urban Conservation Lead with Calgary Parks, in the release.

“This is the third year that we’ve used goats to help with this process in Calgary’s spaces, and so far, we’ve found them to be very effective.”

Calgarians are invited to meet and greet the city’s new weed-wackers at an event on Tuesday, July 31.

The goats will be on scene doing what they do best (eating and fertilizing) and attendees will be able to learn about naturalization and targeted graze initiatives.

…and meet some adorable goats, of course.

Head out to McHugh Bluff at 200 Memorial Drive NW anytime between 11 am and 2 pm to catch the goats in action.