FORT WORTH, Texas – March 27, 2024 — We’re not kidding … goats are coming to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden! With generous support from the Anita Berry Martin Memorial Fund at North Texas Community Foundation, FWBG will be hosting a small herd of goats, April 5-15, to help us clean up the invasive plant species in our Native Texas Boardwalk area. The goats will be visible for guests during regular Garden hours and monitored by a herder 24/7.

Frequently referred to as “goatscaping,” goat herd grazing is a management strategy already practiced by nature centers, airports, ranches, and private residences in Texas and other states. Research shows positive impacts of goat grazing, including decreased fire fuels, increased species diversity, and soil enriched by goat waste. The benefits of selectively allowing goats to graze on our site should include fewer manhours devoted to manual and mechanical invasive species removal and reduced or eliminated use of motorized and heavy equipment operations, thereby reducing emissions, and providing a quieter, more positive experience for FWBG guests.

Historically, natural processes such as fires, flooding, and grazing maintain the ecological balance of native Texas environments. And while FWBG is home to natural wildlife, grazing animals are not a part of our ecosystem. The Garden’s goal in using a borrowed band of browsing goats is to fill this gap and help tip the management scales back in our favor.

The goats will also provide a research opportunity for our scientists from the Botanic Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). With the help of an undergraduate student intern, the Horticulture and Research teams will collect data during this pilot project to determine whether goat grazing is a viable option for long-term management at the Garden. Those research plans and any eventual findings will be shared in the future.  To visit the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, purchase tickets at The Garden is currently open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

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About the Fort Worth Botanic Garden 

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest public botanic garden in Texas with beautiful theme gardens, including the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden, the Adelaide Polk Fuller Garden featuring a comprehensive collection of trees, shrubs, and perennials, and the Victor and Cleyone Tinsley Garden, highlighting plants native to north central Texas. In addition to stunning horticultural displays, the Garden also offers community education for adults, children and families, and international research conducted through the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®). The BRIT Philecology Herbarium contains nearly 1.5 million plant specimens from around the world making it one of the largest herbaria in the United States, and the BRIT Research Library houses nearly 125,000 volumes of botanical books and journals. The BRIT Press publishes botanical-related books and the esteemed, peer-reviewed journal JBRIT. The combined campus comprises 120 acres in Fort Worth’s Cultural District two miles west of downtown Fort Worth at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76107.