New York City is welcoming a new breed of essential workers.
Goats have been enlisted to clear weeds at Stuyvesant Cove Park. In the wake of the pandemic, staffing and budget cuts have left the 2-acre park unmaintained. Moreover, as New York residents convened in parks as a safe space during the outbreak, they left their garbage and trampled plant life.
A herd of 20 goats has been commissioned to trim the grass and remove the invasive weeds. The animals were borrowed from the Green Goats of Rhineback, which has been loaning public places its goats for over 15 years.
Park manager Candace Thompson says goats are simply eco-friendly and more efficient than a team of humans.
“For me to compost this much plant, this much biomass, is just an insane amount of work,” Thompson told the Associated Press. “These goats, in a matter of three days, are going to take all of this plant matter, eat it and poop it out as fertilizer that’ll make this garden perfect for growing a bunch of native, edible plants next spring.”
While it may be unusual to see goats in the bustling city, parkgoers have enjoyed their presence thus far.
“It’s very calming. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world and this is very nice … water, goats, the greenery,” a local, Tom Jenkins, told the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, another resident praised the use of goats as a sustainable alternative.
“I think it’s great for city people to know that there’s other ways that are more natural and that our world can be really small, and things can be done locally and more healthily,” Jackie Toscano told the Associated Press.
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