Riverside Park Conservancy decided that bringing in a new herd of goats (in a project titled Goatham) would be the smartest move to help with the invasive plant problem in a closed off section between 119th and 122nd street in the park.
On July 7, several goats will journey to Riverside Park to reside in the area for the summer and munch on weeds to their heart’s content.
The goats continuously consume the weeds all the way down to the roots all summer long, stunting the plants’ normal growth pattern by making them start all over—of course, only to be eaten again. After a few seasons of eating, the plants’ ability to grow will weaken and perhaps be eliminated altogether.
You might be wondering why goats seemed like the best animals for the job, right?
Firstly, they’re comfortable being on a sloped terrain and can navigate around it fairly easily and secondly, although Porcelain Berry, Wineberry, Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose, and Poison Ivy are a nuisance to a healthy functioning environment, they’re absolutely delicious to these furry guys (who can actually eat up to 25% of their body weight in a day).
Their poop is of course nutrient filled and perfect for the soil, so you could definitely call it a win-win solution: it’s sustainable, chemical-free, and time efficient!
The goats’ summer internship will kick off with a special Goatham festival where four goats—Cowgirl, Chico, Charlie, and Mallomar—will be the esteemed goats of honor at a “ribbon chewing” ceremony.
The festival will also feature local vendor booths, live music, goat-themed merchandise, educational activities, and more!
Read more about the initiative here.