A herd of hungry goats will save Riverside Park from invasive plants

May 7, 2019

Unrelated, these goats were found loitering on the subway tracks last year by the MTA. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit via Flickr.

The hilly terrain of the Upper West Side‘s Riverside park is becoming overgrown with invasive plant species, poison ivy included; but the green hordes will be no match for 24 goats that the park plans to unleash on the hard-to-reach patches human gardeners have had a hard time taming. The goats are being brought out of a cushy retirement upstate to graze on a fenced-in area between 119th and 125th Streets, I Love the Upper West Side blog reports.

Goat carriages in Central Park via Library of Congress.

It won’t be the first time goats roamed free in Manhattan. The name “Gotham” comes from “Goat Town,” the Old English name for the city in the early 1800s when the Upper West Side was an undeveloped backwater where goats outnumbered people. The program has been christened “Goatham” in reference to the historic horny herds.

Between the all-you-can-eat buffet–the herd will return to raze the weeds several times until the greenery stops growing back–and a planned goat popularity contest, the job might even be a step up from retirement. The goats will arrive on May 21 and munch until August 30; no news yet when the contest, which also has a place in city lore, will be, but it will give visitors a chance to gaze at the goats. Sadly, no petting is permitted. You can find out more about the goats here.


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