Group uses goats to clear urban land in Tucson

KOLD 4 p.m. Goat Story

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - When you want to get rid of your weeds you pull out the weed wacker, to cut your lawn you get out the lawn mower. But what if you could get rid of the machinery and use goats instead? That’s the idea that a group called Urban Grazers is pitching.

Wednesday, Jan. 9, was a trial run for the service with the Chomp and Stomp Goat Fest in midtown. Fifteen goats came to the neighborhood near Pima Street and Alvernon Way to eat weeds, overgrown brush, and tree bark among, other things.

Members of the neighborhood residents association found out about Urban Grazers when they heard about the group putting goats to work in the Santa Cruz river bed to clear flammable brush.

Residents paid $25 per home to have the goats takecare of the weeds in their easements/yards.

The idea for it all started a few years ago when Urban Grazers owner Tutti Hendricks said her dad said that her brother-in-law should put some of his goats to work. Not too long after she got two goats of her own to keep her horse company and that’s when she said she feel in love with goats.

“We started about three years ago thinking about it. My brother-in-law Mitch has five goats, so my dad started saying you ought to put them to work. And so he did a little bit. And then I got to goats for my horse and decided that I love goats,” Hendricks said.

Members of the neighborhood association said they’re grateful that the goats came to clear out the area because it helps to not only keep things looking less unkempt, but they say it has the potential to keep things safer.

Residents said that they’ve seen homeless people take to the easements in the area once the brush and weeds grow over and in turn they leave behind trash or other unwanted items. Now, with the brush cleared out by the goats, residents say they’re hoping that problem stops.

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