An unexpected teaser video was released by Riverside Park Conservancy today, announcing that their weed-eating goats will return for the summer.
The goats’ much-anticipated return will mark the third year of the Conservancy’s Goatham Initiative, which aims to clear invasive plants from the steep western slopes of Riverside Park’s Forever Wild woodland between 119th and 122nd Streets. Undaunted by the treacherous terrain and loving the sweet taste of poison ivy, the goats will munch through aggressive growth nearly inaccessible to mere mortal gardeners, making space for more ecologically suitable plantings in this crucial forested area.
“We are thrilled to have the goats’ help again this year,” said John Herrold, Riverside Park administrator and interim president and CEO of Riverside Park Conservancy. “Everyone benefits from their presence – the goats get to enjoy the Park’s weeds, the Park’s natural environment is improved, and New Yorkers get to see goats in their local park.”
The goats are able to traverse difficult, hard-to-reach places, and can also gulp down poison ivy without a second thought. This frees up human hands — and significant portions of time — to work on other components of restoration. The initiative has been wildly successful at drawing public attention to Riverside Park’s woodland and to the urban forest revitalization efforts, which are gaining momentum around New York City.
There will be 20 goats running, 4 of whom will remain for the entire summer. 2-time Riverside veteran Skittles will be making his third appearance, while 2019 star Cheech will be making his comeback return. Newcomers Big “G” and Elenor will also join the goat squad, and look forward to making their debut.
The goats will be arriving on June 29th between 11am ~ Noon at 120th Street and Riverside Drive from a farm in Rhinebeck, NY. This event is Free and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending the Running of the Goats can RSVP at this link.
Did you miss the Riverside Park Conservancy 2022 Annual Spring Benefit? Honorees and Celebration Here.