Forget gas-guzzlin', smoke-belchin' lawnmowers. The eco-friendly way to mow grass and get rid of unwanted vegetation is to ... rent some goats!
The city of Andover, Massachusetts has some unwanted guests: invasive species like the European buckthorn tree and the strangling bittersweet vine from Asia are shouldering out local wildlife. To make matters worse, in tight times the city can't always afford the mowing machines and the manpower required to keep the invaders at bay. That was until they brought in the experts--goats.
The mowing "machines are massive, constantly breaking down, [and they] use a lot of fuel so we have actually had to skip several years of the mowing program because it's very expensive," says Bob Douglas, the director of Andover's Conservation Commission.
Luckily, the commission recently hit upon a neat solution when one of their volunteers spoke to Lucy McKain, who tends dairy goats next to one of the city's preserves. They worked out an arrangement where her animals get to graze the land and the commission saves a few thousand dollars a year. The fix was a win-win for everyone.
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