Grazing Goats to Return to Highlands

By ERIKA MARTIN | Reporter

The Palisades will soon see an influx of hill billies—not the kind that strike oil and move to Beverly Hills, but of the goat variety.

On Saturday, May 28, more than 200 goats will make the trip from San Diego to the Highlands Village by the Beach shopping center to clear hillside brush. According to Highlands Village Property Manager Christian Irwin, the goats will “leave when the job is done,” usually after about two weeks.

Goats graze in the Highlands last year. Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Goats graze in the Highlands last year.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Aside from bringing some pastoral delight to the Palisades, the goats perform the important task of heightening fire safety in the area by consuming the flammable brush that has accumulated over the year in the steep terrain off of Palisades Drive.

“It’s an opportunity to turn that into something more interesting and exciting for the community,” Irwin said. “It also gives residents something fun to talk about, and it’s nice for kids to see them in a natural state.

“And, they’re very good at what they do,” Irwin added.

The goats made their debut last year and, according to Irwin, are back by popular demand.

“We’re doing it again this year because the response we got last year was so overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “People were stopping by just to watch goats do their thing.”

Irwin said he plans to have the goats return annually as a tradition. “I wouldn’t be the one who would cancel the goats.”

While there was an incident last year in which the goats managed to escape from their enclosure and careened onto Sunset Boulevard, Irwin said the supervising shepherd has modified his fencing design to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“It was quickly addressed and no humans or goats were harmed in the incident,” Irwin pointed out.

The goats will arrive in conjunction with the center’s first Family Fun Day of the summer, to be held on May 28 from 12 to 3 p.m., followed by a second Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 25.