Twenty-five to 30 goats will soon start grazing at Chicago O’Hare Airport. The animals will help landscape 120 acres of foliage, including space near creeks and hill areas that are difficult for groundskeepers to maintain, CNN is reporting.
According to the news outlet, the city announced the plan on Wednesday as part of a two-year contract for “sustainable vegetation management grazing services” that will help them reduce costs and carbon dioxide emissions. To make sure the goats don’t get too close to runways, they will be separated from the airfield by security fencing and will remain supervised while on airport property.
CNN reports other airports that have brought goats in to landscape have seen mixed results. In San Francisco, goats are successfully used two to three weeks each summer to clear vegetation, which allows the airport to clear a firebreak without interrupting some endangered species that call the area home. But in Seattle, goats came and went within a week in 2008 because they were too effective, eating everything in sight – including native plants the airport wanted to protect.
Chicago’s herd is expected to arrive in about a month. Look out for them as you take off and land at the airport.
[Photo credit: Armin Kübelbeck / Wikimedia Commons]