They’re! The Riverside Park Conservancy Celebrates the Return of the Goats & The Winning Goat in a Ceremony on September 14th




Image via Green Goats Farm

After a one-year hiatus, Riverside Park Conservancy announced that their best interns have come back to the Park this summer. 24 Goats arrived on July 14, 2021 at 11am on Riverside Drive at 120th Street for the ceremonial “Running of the Goats“, with 5 goats planning to stay through the summer in Riverside Park. Get to know the summer resident 5 goats, and be prepared to Vote for the Goat you love the most!

The results of the ranked-choice vote will be announced at a public ceremony on September 14, 2021 at 11am. (originally September 9th, but postponed due to rain). The winning goat will be presented with a medal and bouquet of weeds, with the ceremony overseen by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell; Borough President Gale Brewer; Council Member Mark Levine; Conservancy President & CEO Dan Garodnick; George Shea, co-Founder, Major League Eating; and You, their adoring public. The Event will be located at 120th Street and Riverside Park.

The public can review all of the five candidates’ platforms — and cast a vote using the new ranked-choice voting system on Riverside Park Conservancy’s website. Election highlights can be seen on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook. As of today, nearly 1,000 votes have been case. Every vote will count!

Class of 2019, Skittles the Goat, headed back to Rhinebeck

“You’ve seen Cats, now see Goats,” said Dan Garodnick, President & CEO of Riverside Park Conservancy. “We’re thrilled to see the Riverside Park goats light up Broadway in celebration of their big arrival.”

As Riverside Park Conservancy’s five goats — Skittles, Chalupa, Buckles, Mallomar and Ms. Bo Peep — released their campaign platforms and slogans for the ranked choice Vote the G.O.A.T. election, Ms. Bo Peep launched a direct attack on two of her opponents in an unprecedented negative TV ad.

These five goats — the fabulous five — arrived on July 14 to tackle invasive plant removal in Riverside Park’s natural woodland. They are all candidates to be crowned “Riverside Park’s 2021 G.O.A.T.” in a ceremony on September 9. Two weeks into the ranked choice voting, over 700 votes have been cast, and conventional wisdom is that any goat could prevail.

The negative attack ad by Ms. Bo Peep against front runners Skittles and Chalupa broke an unwritten rule among goats that “thou shalt not speak ill of another goat,” and will likely shake up public perception of the candidates.

“We are deeply troubled to see this campaign take such an unfortunate turn,” said Dan Garodnick, President & CEO of Riverside Park Conservancy. “We encourage a healthy competition among the goats, but we do not condone this level of negative campaigning.” (Ms. Bo Peep’s ad was created by Julia Mendoza Friedman.)

Candidates and Party Affiliations

Skittles — Eat Your Greens Party

Ms. Bo Peep — Hill Climbers for a Better New York

Buckles — Weed Whackers United

Chalupa — Grand Old Goat Party

Mallomar — Better Future for our KIDS Party

The public can review all of the five candidates’ platforms — and cast a vote today using the new ranked-choice voting system — on Riverside Park Conservancy’s website.Election highlights will be shared on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

The Conservancy has opted to bring goats to the Park as part of its ongoing work to rehabilitate a woodland habitat in the area between 120thand 122nd Streets just off Riverside Drive.  Goats are an eco-friendly and highly popular way to remove invasive plants.

Image courtesy Riverside Park Conservancy

Green Goats will also be ‘working’ in Hempstead, NY this summer ~ hired to feast on overgrowth including poison ivy!

‘Running of the Goats’ in Riverside Park 2019. Images courtesy Riverside Park Conservancy

Did you know that visiting the Conservancy’s goats was called New York’s “best first date spot” in 2019. The goats are expected to stay from July 14 through the summer.

Also in the park this summer, Riverside Park Conservancy will unveil the art installation, Re:Growth, a summer-long outdoor art exhibition beginning June 5.

Update:  September 14, 2021 ~ and the winner is………

In photo (left to right): George Shea, Co-Founder of Major League Eating; Hannah Kirshenbaum, Conservancy Gardener; Dan Garodnick, Conservancy President & CEO; Linda Rosenthal, Assemblymember, NYS Assembly District 67.

In Riverside Park Conservancy’s first-ever ranked choice goat vote, Chalupa edges out Ms. Bo Peep and is elected the 2021 G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time). Chalupa, known as “the hungriest goat on this side of the Hudson,” represents the Grand Old Goat (GOG) Party.

“It was a tight race, but New Yorkers clearly took a stand against negative campaigning, at least among goats,” said Dan Garodnick, Conservancy President & CEO. “Today they recognized a true champion.”