See the Goats in Riverside Park!

  Last modified on July 7th, 2021

The highly anticipated herd of 24 goats have arrived at Riverside Park. The ceremony and very warm welcome took place on May 21st, with crowds gathering from 11am at 120th and Riverside Drive.

If you’re just hearing about this now, these goats were transported from an upstate farm to help eliminate invasive plant species from the area between 119th and 125th Streets in Riverside Park.


Entering The Riverside Park Goat Ceremony

On my way to the ceremony, I didn’t really know what to expect. But the crowd was huge. Locals and press people walked elbow to elbow, searching for good spots to snap photos. From 11 to 11:45am, park spokespeople addressed the crowd, pictures of the farm owner and council member Helen Rosenthal were taken, and two of the goats were allowed to socialize and meet some admirers (adult and child humans and quite a few dogs).

Countdown To Goatham

It was announced that the goats would be released at 11:45am, so everyone was scurrying to get themselves to the best vantage point. It was quite a scene! Following the countdown, the goats exited the truck they rode in on and started familiarizing themselves with the new territory.

It didn’t take them long to get comfortable in their new home. The grazing commenced right away.


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Getting comfortable in our new home. #goatham

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The goats will be working in the park until August 30th, traversing hilly areas which are a bit too tough for humans to navigate.

The team will consume plants including poison ivy and porcelain berry. Once they grow back, the goats will consume them again. And the hope and plan is that, once the goats are done with their summer internship, these invasive plants won’t be able to grow back. At this point, human gardeners will be able to replace them with native species.


The Riverside Park Conservancy Explains The Process:

Throughout the season, the goats will continuously consume the weeds all the way down to the roots, which stunts the plants’ normal growth trajectory by making them start all over — only to be eaten again. After a few months, the plants’ ability to grow will have been weakened, and perhaps eliminated altogether.

The public is welcome to go see the goats while they’re here. In addition to cleaning up the park, the conservancy plans to use this opportunity to teach city kids about forest management.

The Riverside Park Conservancy is also planning a popularity content called “Vote the Goat”.

Learn more about Goatham here!

UPDATE: See Riverside Park’s Top 5 Goats!

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