Goat landscaping in Elm Grove helps environment

Landscapers in Elm Grove are working to protect the environment with help from a new staff of roughly 50 goats.

It's usually rude to chew with your mouth open, but in this case Elm Grove Village Park encourages it.

"They eat. All they do is eat," Village of Elm Grove Forester Ron Hill said. "They’ll be full by the time they get done."

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The goats clear out invasive species, like buckthorn, that hurt the environment by overtaking native plants.

"We take them out to different people’s property to help them control invasive weeds," said Linda Klietz, owner of Grazing Goats Wisconsin. 

Grazing Goats Wisconsin helps fight invasive species at Elm Grove Village Park

"We want to have something that was here in Wisconsin 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago," Hill said.

Fenced within about a quarter-acre of land, the landscapers trim and chew everything in sight.

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"We can’t get in here with mechanical equipment, so we’d have to go in and hand cut this," said Hill. "With the limited amount of staff that we have, it would be almost impossible."

Now, thanks to Grazing Goats Wisconsin, the village has staff with double the legs and triple the appetite.

Grazing Goats Wisconsin helps fight invasive species at Elm Grove Village Park

"It is super fun to see them help eradicate species that would be pretty challenging for a crew to come in and not disrupt the natural stuff that you don’t want disturbed," Klietz said.

While the goats' manners could use a little work, foresters say the park's new staff members are dedicated to protecting the environment. The goats will do their grazing jobs for the next three to four days, and Elm Grove plans to use them again in the near future.