LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — In April 2019, as grass grew taller around three of the town’s waterways, the Leesburg Town Council voted against using herbicides to clear weeds. Instead, this summer it’s commissioned the help of over 50 workers… and they’re not humans.
Over 50 goats are chomping away at weeds beside a waterway on Dry Mill Rd. A spokesperson for the town says council members were choosing between pricey organic herbicides, physical labor, and one unique suggestion from a group of Leesburg kids.
“It was a really cute idea,” said Leah Cosin, assistant public information officer for the Town of Leesburg. “We looked into it and we were thrilled with the results, so we decided to go ahead and utilize [the goats]. They’re environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and they work very, very fast.”
Mary Bowen, owner of Prosperity Acres, says its a trend that’s growing. “In the last nine years, I went from a few jobs per year to the point now, where I’m busy from April to November. The goats from one job to the next job without going back to the farm.”
It’s cost-effective and it’s sustainable. Bowen says rather than spreading the weeds, they’re clearing them.
Cosin says it’s also been a neighborhood hit. “Neighbors have actually met each other for the first time because their kids are coming out to see the goats. They want to be in their backyard and they’re meeting people that they’ve never spoken to.”
The town is already planning to use the goats for another waterway just down the road near Plaza Street Bridge.