Deaths serve as reminder not to feed grazing goats

June 26, 2012

Issaquah Highlands neighborhood leaders asked residents not to feed the landscaping goats due to arrive in the community soon.

Highlands residents received the information in a communitywide email June 21 because seven goats died last summer after ingesting yard waste. Organizers said the afflicted goats ate yard waste dumped on open spaces in the hillside neighborhood.

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Landscaping goats return to munch across Issaquah Highlands

June 24, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. June 24, 2011

The ruminants return Friday afternoon.

In a summertime tradition for Issaquah Highlands residents, a goat herd is due to start chomping across open space in the Wisteria Park neighborhood. Onlookers can also catch a glimpse of the goats from Davis Loop.

Then, a few days later, the action is due to shift west, to open space tracts near South Pond, just east of Central Park. Plans call for another herd of landscaping goats to arrive July 6.

The goats, a cheaper and more eco-conscious option than traditional clearing, eat tall grasses and invasive plant species, such as Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom.

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Comedy Central features Issaquah Highlands’ unemployment ‘scapegoats’

October 19, 2010

Funnyman Stephen Colbert shined a spotlight on the Issaquah Highlands last week for a serious message about unemployment.

Colbert sounded the alarm about illegal helpers — scapegoats — “gobbling up our jobs” and causing unemployment to rise.

Scapegoats? No, actual goats.

Stephen Colbert, host of the cable news spoof ‘The Colbert Report,’ gestures at the end of a segment about landscaping goats in the Issaquah Highlands. Contributed

So, the goats hired to landscape the highlands trotted into the national spotlight. The piece — a “People Who Are Destroying America” segment for the Oct. 14 episode of “The Colbert Report” — highlighted the Issaquah neighborhood and Rent-A-Ruminant.

In September, a Comedy Central crew filmed a segment on the living lawnmowers. The crew also interviewed Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager, for the piece.

“I had no idea what they were going to do with it,” he said.

The crew asked the highlands landscaping team to appear in the segment, but Ayers said the group decided to pass. Instead, Comedy Central turned to a Tukwila business, New Beginning Garden & Lawn Care, to portray landscapers edged out of business by hungry goats.

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‘The Colbert Report’ highlights Issaquah Highlands / Oct. 14, 2010

October 18, 2010

Issaquah Highlands goats appeared on “The Colbert Report” Oct. 14. Watch the clip here.

Issaquah Highlands goats featured on ‘The Colbert Report’

October 14, 2010

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 14, 2010

The goats hired to landscape the Issaquah Highlands trot into the national spotlight in a segment on “The Colbert Report.”

The piece is scheduled to air as part of the satirical show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Comedy Central. Watch the clip here.

In September, a Comedy Central crew filmed a segment on the living lawnmowers. The crew also interviewed Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager, for the piece.

The goats returned to highlands hillsides in June. The goats — more than 120 from Rent-A-Ruminant on Vashon Island — chomped through tall grass and invasive plants for several weeks.

Rent-A-Ruminant also provided goats to landscape the highlands last summer. The goats gained some notoriety as the ruminants in PEMCO Insurance’s “Goat Renter Guy” spot.

Goats return to the Issaquah Highlands

June 15, 2010

Residents of the Issaquah Highlands welcomed herds of goats into their backyards last weekend.

On June 11, 120 goats were rented and brought to the highlands to eat a half-acre field of weeds by 28th Avenue and Julep Street. The goats came in for the second year in a row as an alternative weeding method to using human labor.

“The first time we brought the goats in, it was very successful,” said Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager. “It is much better than using people. Hiring man-labor costs around $35,000 and the goats cost about a quarter of that.”

Along with costs, using goats as an alternative to standard weeding methods helps reduce the carbon footprint of the highlands community.

“This whole thing was really about going green. This whole community is about going green,” Ayers said.

The goats arrived via trailer from Rent-A-Ruminant, located on Vashon Island, where they reside in winter.

As soon as the trailer’s doors opened, the crowd gathered around cheered as the goats poured out and made their way to the field to begin munching away.

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Goats return to landscape Issaquah Highlands / June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

Goat landscapers in the Issaquah Highlands / July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009

Goats will landscape highlands hillsides

June 9, 2009

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects, Contributed

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects. Contributed

Parts of the Issaquah Highlands will resemble a PEMCO Insurance ad in late June and early July, when hundreds of goats start to munch invasive plants on steep hillsides. Some of the goats clearing brush in the highlands were featured in the “Goat Renter Guy” spot that poked fun at Pacific Northwesterners for relying on ruminants to tame wayward plants.

Issaquah Highlands Community Association managers hired a pair of goat herders — and about 400 goats — to tackle landscaping on stretches of hillside too difficult and expensive for human crews to maintain.

“I’m told they’ll eat anything that’s green,” said Russ Ayers, landscape manager for the highlands community association.

Goats will work in the highlands for about two and a half weeks. Ayers said arrival dates for the goats had yet to be finalized.

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