Because the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is just downright one of the best outdoor gems on the planet, it's hauling in 120 goats in October to “mow” (naturally feast upon) 1.5 acres of overgrowth around its two Woodway ponds. The huge herd will offer an eco-friendly solution to conservation management, and from October 4 to 10, you can watch them chomp down on pesky vegetation in person.
The innovative pilot project is in collaboration with Rent-A-Ruminant Texas, which has acquired most of its 200-plus goats through animal rescues and private adoptions. Because goats are natural climbers and adept at scaling hills and mountains, you can expect to see them all over the slopes around the Arboretum’s ponds.
Sadly you will not be able to do goat-yoga with them, and we must follow Mother's golden rule while visiting: Look, don't touch.
In fact, the goats will be contained in designated areas via electric fencing, which sounds very Jurassic Park, except there will be a human goat wrangler monitoring them, rather than a bloodthirsty T-Rex. You might even ask this wrangler about the goats since each has its own name, and there will be a variety of breeds on hand, including Nubian, Boer, Kiko, Savanna and Nigerian Dwarf.
If the project is a success, the goats will be back in the spring to do more helpful grazing in the meadow and savanna ecosystems.
The arboretum is open from 7 a.m. to dusk every day. And do check out the five-mile trail system and field stations while you're out there—there're lots of birds and bats, and you might just spot an alligator too.
Head to houstonarboretum.org for more information.