40 goats eating unwanted buckthorn in Downers Grove
Roughly 40 goats will spend the next five to seven days outside a retirement community in Downers Grove doing what goats do: Munching on unwanted buckthorn on about a one-acre site.
Wisconsin-based Vegetation Solutions promotes the goats as a natural way to get rid of invasive plants. The company, which has around 250 animals, sets up herds of livestock in a fenced area for eco landscaping -- in this case outside the Oak Trace community.
"It's another tool in the toolbox of plant management," said Ben Robel, owner of Vegetation Solutions. "It's also a morale booster for folks here."
Oak Trace has around 40 acres and the pesky buckthorn takes over the land pretty quickly.
A resident suggested bringing in the goats and officials jumped at the chance.
"It's the best thing for the ecosystem and it's chemical free," Director of Lifestyle Paula Banno said.
"They're very similar to sheep," said resident Nina Baird, who lived on a farm. "I hope it's successful. It's better than chemical spray."
Officials say they're planning on the goats making a yearly visit to the property.