Detroit City Councilman To Propose Goats And Sheep Grazing Ordinance To Keep Up Overgrown Lots

Close-up of Goat's Head
Close-up of Goat's Head

Goats and sheep will be part of a new idea presented at a Detroit City Council meeting on Thursday, according to Fox 2 Detroit.

Detroit City Councilman James Tate will introduce a new proposal to allow prescribed grazing on Detroit's many overgrown lots. He said the idea was first brought to him by residents of the city's Brightmoor neighborhood.

"We have 140 square miles in this city, and many of those areas are vacant. Why not utilize everything on this earth to try and address the challenges we have?" Tate asked.

The bankrupt city has an estimated 78,000 blighted structures still standing. But that's not the city's only cosmetic issue. Many parks and other empty lots have become overgrown -- in some areas, the grass stretches almost waist-high. The city says it just doesn't have enough money or manpower to mow these lots.

To combat the growth, residents often mow adjacent lots themselves. One group, who call themselves the "Mower Gang," have brought parks like the abandoned Dorais Velodrome back to life. But they can't do it all.

If the vision of barn animals calmly munching on an urban lot seems incongruous with a 21st century city, well, prescribed grazing in urban areas isn't really a new idea for this millennium. The city of Middleton, WI welcomed 82 livestock animals as a method for managing invasive brush. Another group of goats, nicknamed "living lawnmowers," spent last summer on Governors Island in New York.

Read more at Fox 2 Detroit.