Goats Take Boat Detour On Way To Matthiessen State Park

ComEd’s four-legged vegetation control team heading to Starved Rock Country

Nearly a dozen of ComEd’s four-legged employees took a small boat parade along the Chicago River today, en route to Starved Rock Country’s beautiful Matthiessen State Park. Ten brush cleaning goats, that excel at trimming around hard-to-reach power lines, spent the day cruising the Chicago River - delighting office workers and tourists alike, while increasing awareness around ComEd’s unique goat vegetation management program.

“ComEd is excited to bring the goats back to Chicago this year to highlight one of the innovative and sustainable ways we help ensure families and businesses throughout northern Illinois have reliable power,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO at ComEd. “This event provides our hardworking goats with a much-needed celebration and fun opportunity to engage with the customers they serve.”

The goats cruised down the river in five boats, with an additional boat carrying members of the ComEd team, between the City Winery Chicago Dock, Michigan Avenue Bridge and Wolf Point today, Wednesday, Aug. 31. This marks the second consecutive year of ComEd’s goats visiting the Chicago River. In July 2021, goats cruised along the Chicago River as they took a break from clearing vegetation in Pekin, Ill.

Each summer since 2019, over 200 goats have supported ComEd in clearing vegetation in places that are difficult to access. The goats play a critical role in helping ComEd avoid outages and service disruptions due to overgrown vegetation near power lines. Among its benefits, the program drives maximum efficiency of this work, cutting the cost and time by more than half, while also reducing safety risks for workers and air emissions from fuel-burning equipment.

ComEd sees this an “an eco-friendly alternative” to maintaining these difficult to access areas. On average, a goat can clear one acre of challenging terrain a week - equivalent to what a team of people can do with machinery in the same amount of time.

To learn more about the goats, visit ComEd.com/Goats and check out ComEd’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.