Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Article on Goats: Charlotte, North Carolina

This article is from the Carolina Weekly.  Sorry, no pictures...

Planning the return of UCity's green goats

June 4, 2010 University City’s green goats are off the clock.

A team of 15 goats needed less than a month to clear some 2 acres of brambles, poison oak and brush off the grounds of Environmental Way’s Louis Rose Place land in University Research Park. The goats, from Wells Farm in Horse Shoe, served as an alternative to “diesel-guzzling” machinery, according to Beth Machen, project manager for Environmental Way.

Environmental Way takes over what used to be an IBM facility on Louis Rose Place. It’s a move in the right direction for University Research Park, according to Mary Hopper, executive director of University City Partners, as Environmental Way embraces a number of green initiatives.

The building will be the area’s first “LEED-Certified Platinum” building, according to Machen, with updated air and heating units as well as an energy management system. Tenants leasing room in Environmental Way’s building must meet certain green guidelines as well.

With environmental friendliness in mind, Environmental Way leader David Bowles agreed to call in the goats May 7 to clear undergrowth near his building. University City Partners organized a festival of all things green to celebrate the goats’ arrival. The Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and others provided information.

The goats were gone by Memorial Day, having eaten most of the underbrush inside their fenced-off forest and starting to look elsewhere for a meal. At least one goat decided to hop the electric fence in search of greener pastures, getting a small shock for her effort.

University City Partners already is planning another Green Goats and Gardens event in University Research Park next year, Hopper said. Meanwhile, Environmental Way hopes to soon sign a lease with its first tenant – Southern Energy Management, a sustainable energy company.


  1. You are on the right track! Glad the goaties are getting comfortable with you, and vice versa. It really is amazing at how fast they will clear an area. Someone told me that sheep won't eat stinging nettles. Not. Mine cleared a huge patch!

  2. You have special stinging-nettle-eating sheep! Hold on to them!

  3. You might want to read this story about Google hiring goats to eat the grass on their lawn. I saw it on TV a few weeks ago.

  4. Hi Judy - Thanks for the link!