For more than 20 years, the overgrown reservoir on the eastern side of Imperial Estates Elementary in Titusville, Florida, has been a challenge for grounds crews to maintain due to rough terrain, according to an article by USA Today.
The area is also home to a family of gopher tortoises, a protected species under Florida law, who only complicate the issue. To tame the wild acre, the Brevard School District has hit on a creative solution: goats.
Starting Dec. 3, about two dozen of the animals will bite back the problem shrubs in an effort to clear the unruly plot, which is near a basketball court and puts students at risk of close encounters with snakes and other critters.
The goats are on loan from the south central Florida franchise of Rent-a-Ruminant, a national company that specializes in landscaping livestock.
Grounds Services Supervisor Matt Nolle says the area around the pond is too dangerous for tractors and other heavy equipment because of very steep banks and vertical drop-offs in some spots. He says that goats are gentler on the environment, eliminate the need for hazardous chemicals and are able get into places human crews can’t.
The animals will be housed in a special trailer at the school for about two weeks to complete the job, at a total cost of about $4,500, according to Nolle.