Goats Return to Riverside Park This Week, And Conservancy Expects They’ll ‘Be Back Next Summer’

I think these are known as “bedroom eyes.”

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.

ABSURDITY, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. Marjie says:

      so which ones are coming back??!

    2. Steffie Wilson says:

      Adorable reporting.
      Can’t wait to seem them back.
      They did a fantastic job.
      I am a previous poison ivy victim.
      Thank you Bella and all the others.

    3. Shirley says:


    4. Kathleen says:

      The goats are adorable and they did a great job! It was so nice to see them here and I’m glad we’re welcoming them back! They seemed to enjoy their urban summer camp and it saves us from more chemicals. Happy goats!!

    5. Chrigid says:

      After a goat has had her fill of poison ivy, can her milk be used for edible cheese?

    6. Hugh Van Dusen says:

      Please keep the goat news coming !

    7. Goat Fan says:

      Will it just be a day trip, or will they stay for the weekend or longer?

    8. maven 790 says:

      lke goats and love the whole idea and the chomping as well as the opportunity for kids to appreciate new cute goat additions to urban life…plus it is another outing for kids too!!

    9. Gretchen says:

      Delighted! The goat days of summer make our park even more spectacular!

    10. UWS_lifer says:

      I’m not sure why but something about these goats just puts a smile on my face. And I see I’m not alone.

      I changed my jogging route around so I would see these little guys almost everyday when they first showed up. No. 23 was my favorite, he was brown and cream colored and was a little smaller and looked a little younger than the others.

      Anyway, they should really do this every year.

    11. Heather Hacking says:

      A brilliant solution! Well done from London, England.