Nanny goat state: D.C. cemetery hires unlikely landscaping crew


Washington D.C.'s Historic Congressional Cemetery is welcoming some strange guests to its 35 acres this week.

They’ve “hired” approximately six dozen goats, or about two herds, for $750 a day to rid the area of invasive species like poison ivy.

“They really are veracious eaters,” said Lauren Maloy, the program director at the cemetery. “They will eat anything in sight so given a week, hopefully they will clear the whole area.”

"Eco-Goats" near the historic Congressional Cemetery, on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Win McNamee / Getty Images

The cemetery got the goats from Brian Knox, who runs Eco-Goats, an environmentally friendly vegetation control that uses goats to rid areas of invasive species.

Knox said he got into the business by mistake because one of his friends had a bunch of goats he wanted to get rid of. They tested the goats on a few properties of land and realized how good the goats were at eliminating weeds and fast-growing plants.

His Maryland-based business quickly took off and now occupies his summer vacation, as the season usually runs from mid-April to October.

Knox said he can’t take credit for the technology, which he said is fairly common outside of the East Coast.

“It’s old, old technology,” he said.

The Congressional Cemetery is one of the first East Coast locations for Knox’s goats. It’ll take about a week for the goats to do their job, which includes ridding the environment of the invasive plants’ seeds as well.

Washington's Historic Congressional Cemetery is welcoming dozens of goats to its property this week to rid the area of invasive species and excess vegetation. Congressional Cemetery