Rather than hiring a few extra sets of hands to help complete a major landscaping project, the town of Castle Rock has enlisted the help of hooves - lots and lots of hooves.

The town contracted with a local company called Goat Green, to incorporate goatscaping into maintenance operations at Metzler Family Open Space.

The scenic open space was donated to the town by the Metzlers in 2021. Prior to that, cattle grazed on-site for several decades as part of an active dairy farm. When dairy farm operations ceased, the grass became overgrown and noxious weeds began popping up throughout the grounds.

To help manage the overgrown greenery, more than 800 goats were brought to the 60-acre parcel of land this week. The goats are eating machines and can mow down about one acre of grass daily. Another benefit is that they can access hard-to-reach places that aren’t safe for humans or machines. Not only do the goats assist in efficiently eliminating unwanted vegetation, but they also take away the need for using herbicides.

Temporary electric fencing was installed to keep the goats in their designated grazing area. Two guard dogs were also brought in to help protect the goats and the unoccupied property.

The goats are sometimes visible from the road depending on where they are roaming. Since their arrival, several residents have commented on how fun and surprising it was to see the hundreds of animals while driving by.

Once all of the improvements and necessary maintenance have been done, the public will be able to enjoy the open space for educational and recreational use for years to come.

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