The goats that ate their way through Riverside Park in June are coming back — or at least some of them are. Five of the 24 animals will return in a ceremony on Thursday, August 1 and then they’ll do what they did before — eat weeds, nap and listen to the sweet sounds of the city.
The ceremony will take place starting at 11 a.m. at 120th and Riverside Drive. The five “winners” were determined by a vote on the Riverside Park Conservancy website that closed on July 22. If it’s anything like the first goat arrival, this goat ceremony could be downright raucous.
And here’s some more exciting news…the success of the program means it could be repeated in 2020!
The goats were extremely effective–according to conservancy head Dan Garodnick they “tore through everything in their path”–but invasive species are resilient, and some areas have seen regrowth. Which is why five goats are back in August, and why Upper West Siders should look forward to goats when the weather begins to warm. “We expect that the goats will be back next summer,” Garodnick told the Rag.
While using goats for “vegetation management” on the Upper West Side might seem a little outlandish, it turned out to be a perfect solution to clearing a stretch of hard-to-reach terrain. The conservancy recruited its herd-in-residence to clear an area that features very steep hills, which were overrun with invasive plants and infested with poison ivy. Perilous territory for human gardeners indeed, but a veritable buffet for four-legged ruminants.
Reporting By Michael McDowell.