Here’s Why 700 Goats Have Taken Over This Colorado Open Space
Instead of hiring some extra sets of human hands to help with a major landscaping project, the town of Castle Rock has enlisted the help of hooves — lots and lots of them.
On July 17, 700 hundred goats were brought to the 43-acre parcel of land. Using goats is an efficient and environmentally-friendly way for the town to manage overgrown portions of the riparian open space.
While grazing in the area, these hungry animals greatly help to control noxious weeds. Having them onsite also aids in reducing vegetative fuels for wildfire mitigation.
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, such as steep hillsides. Not only do the goats assist in efficiently eliminating unwanted vegetation, but they also take away the need for using herbicides.
The herd will be onsite at Memmen Ridge 24/7 through approximately August 7. Two herding dogs are also part of the crew.
Memmen Ridge will remain open as the goats do their work. They graze within electric fencing, however, these areas change nearly daily and may cross over trails. People hiking or riding within the open space should be aware that sections of the trail may not be accessible where the goats are grazing. For the goats’ safety, and yours, do not touch the electrified fencing around the goats, and keep dogs leashed and under control at all times when visiting.
Earlier this year, the town of Castle Rock also used hundreds of goats to help with another landscaping project at Metlzer Open Space.
Memmen Ridge Open Space is located south of South Ridge Elementary School and can be accessed from a paved trail at Oman Road or the main trailhead parking lot on Oman Road.