These Goats Are Washington, D.C.’s Resident Celebrity Lawn Mowers

posted: 08/13/15
by: Danny Clemens
Goat mowers in Congressional Cemetery
Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Cal/Getty Images

There's an army of eco-friendly, low-cost, low-tech lawn mowers slowly making their way through Washington, D.C.'s Congressional Cemetery: grazing dairy goats.

Cemetery officials have employed a herd of 30 goats to clear 1.6 acres of wooded area throughout the month of August. At present, the area is overgrown with vines, poison ivy and other foliage.

As the goats munch their way through the giant green feast over the coming weeks, they will leave slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in their wake. With invasive vegetation cleared and fertilizer laid, native plants will hopefully spring up, creating jobs for honey bees and other pollinators.

"This project combines natural and cultural resources, providing the perfect solution for us since we are located so close to the Anacostia River edge," explains Congressional Cemetery president Paul K. Williams in a news release. "We don't want to utilize chemicals due to our riverside location and because of our membership only, off-leash dog walking program."

The goats' chomping ground is fenced in, but they are "easily visible" to cemetery visitors, according to officials. The herd quickly became a local phenomenon was it first deployed to a different area of the cemetery in 2013.

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