Since 2013, a herd of goats and other grazing animals has maintained dense scrub vegetation on O'Hare property. The grazing sites are in areas outside the airfield fence and include hilly areas along Willow-Higgins Creek that are difficult to maintain with traditional landscaping equipment. The grazing reduces habitat for wildlife that can pose safety hazards to airport operations. Additionally, O'Hare's grazing herd clears weeds and invasive species while reducing the use of herbicides and reducing air pollution from gasoline-powered equipment. The initiative, originally conceived as a pilot program, is another example of an aviation industry-leading effort that highlights the CDA's commitment to sustainability.
The grazing program helps the CDA achieve many economic, operational, and environmental benefits including: