Herd of goats grazing in Brooklyn to help restore Prospect Park

Byby Jeremy Murn via WABC logo
Thursday, May 19, 2016
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A herd of goats will be busy this summer clearing out weeds in Prospect Park.

PROSPECT PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A herd of goats has picked up and moved to New York City. The eight goats will spend the summer clearing invasive plants from a part of Prospect Park that was damaged by severe storms.

At least 50 trees in the park's northeast corner were damaged or destroyed during recent storms. Invasive plants such as English ivy and goutweed quickly moved in.

The Prospect Park Alliance says removing the weeds is the first step in the restoration process.

"We are pleased to welcome these goats to Prospect Park to help us further the important woodland restoration work that has always been a focus for the Alliance," Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue said. "These goats will provide an environmentally-friendly approach to our larger efforts, which will not only beautify the Park, but make it more resilient to future storms."

The eight goats have been brought in for their particular skill set. That part of the park is heavily wooded and steeply sloped. The mix of Nubian, Angora and Pygmy breeds are great climbers and will eat most plants.

"This area's steep hillsides present unique challenges and access issues for staff and machinery, but are easily accessible to goats-providing an environmentally friendly and highly efficient approach to weed removal," said Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance Vice President of Capital and Landscape Management. "Once their work is complete, we will then plant new native trees and shrubs, including red and white oaks, spicebush and service berry, which will help bring back important habitat for birds and other wildlife."

On Sunday, May 22, the Alliance will welcome the goats at a Fun on the Farm event, where families can enjoy tours to see the goats, goat milk ice cream making and more.