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Goats Arrive In Riverside Park To Chow Down On Invasive Plants And Weeds – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Riverside Park Conservancy welcomed its summer interns Tuesday.

These are no ordinary interns, however.

They’re weed-chomping goats who will spend the next few months feasting on invasive weed species in Riverside Park.

PHOTOS: Goats Chow Down In Riverside Park

The goats were greeted like rock stars, reported CBSN New York’s Elise Finch. They’re turning Gotham into “Goatham.”

“We have a difficult area… in Riverside Park which has proven challenging for our gardeners. It’s overrun with porcelain berry,  mugwort, poison ivy, English ivy. You name it, we’ve got it in there, and we have to find a way to get it under control,” said Dan Garodnick, president of the Riverside Park Conservancy.

The steep slopes and the poison ivy prompted the conservancy to bring in the goats. It cost about $45,000 to bring 24 goats in from Rhinebeck. They’ll live in Riverside Park for 30 days. After that, most will go home, and 4-6 will remain through the rest of the summer.

Hundreds of people turned out to see the goats arrive, Finch reported.

“I was a little surprised,” Garodnick said. “We knew there was going to be a lot of interest in the neighborhood, but we couldn’t have pictured what exactly happened today.”

Garodnick called it a “feel-good moment for the city.”

The goats are eco-friendly. They’ll help prevent the use of sprays or herbicides to kill the invasive plants. The goats eat about a quarter of their body weight every day.

“For them, it’s like an all-you-can eat buffet,” Garodnick said.

He urged New Yorkers not to feed, pet or touch the goats.

They’re starting their work on 120th Street and Riverside.

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