Goats provide natural and effective brush management in New York park

If you’re visiting New York City this summer and head to Riverside Park, you may witness more than just other walkers and picnic-eaters. You may in fact see a whole herd of goats. The park has introduced its second annual weed-slaying goat grazing initiative, and the animals made their way to the park last week for a whole summer of gnawing on unwanted shrubbery.

Riverside Park features a steep open hillside, difficult to access by mowers, but goats can easily climb up and eat their fill, keeping them full while reducing overgrowth and promoting ecosystem regeneration. Goats can also safely eat up poison ivy, which is difficult and hazardous for humans to try to remove.

The use of goals, similar to the use of sheep in Montreal, is a natural way to cut down brush without the use of emissions-generating mowers or toxic herbicides. The herd of 24 animals were introduced to the park last week, but only five will remain in the park through the fall.

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