A herd of goats is helping the city clear off space for a future greenway, by just doing what they do naturally.
The Tennessee Clean Water Network bought the five acres of blighted property in the Williams Creek Urban Forest, located near the intersection of Brooks and Daily Streets in east Knoxville, and gave it to the city. The city plans to build a greenway trail through the property to connect the Riverside Drive Greenway to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens.
For the second year in a row, the goats will chew their way through the invasive weeds on the property and an additional five acre plot across the street.
It's a much better way to clear the land than using machines and chemicals.
"Spraying is about, I want to say about 5,000 an acre and if you do it poorly you end up streilizing the soil then all the mud just runs off the site and into the creek and we can't have that in this creek because this creek is impaired. It's on the state's list of impaired water bodies. So goats are a perfect solution," said Renee Hoyos, Executive Director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.
The goats' work should help remove Williams Creek from the state's list of impaired water ways.
They expect the goats to be on the land, enjoying a feast of kudzu, privet and honeysuckle vine, until October. The land is fenced off and the goats are protected by a solar powered electric fence and Otter, a Great Pyrenees mix dog.