Overachieving Goats Have Cleaned up Brooklyn's Prospect Park

Posted by TF Oren

In May, the Prospect Park Alliance hired a herd of goats to help clean up a section of the beloved Brooklyn park that was damaged by superstorm Sandy.

The storm felled around 500 of the park's trees, and a handful of invasive plant species, such as poison ivy, quickly moved in and took over the open space.

The Prospect Park Alliance, the nonprofit that partners with the city to run the park, initially hired eight goats from Green Goats, a goat rental operation located in Rhinebeck, New York.

By July, the original eight had made such quick work of the task, that they were sent back to the farm in Rhinebeck. This was in order to allow the invasive species to begin to regrow. After a few rounds of growing and being cleared, the plants essentially run out of energy and stop growing.

Poison ivy

Six goats returned to Prospect Park in August and grazed for several more weeks. They left for another regrowth cycle, and then four goats returned in mid-September.

The final four Prospect Park goats, Max, Olivia, Reese, and Charlie Brown, grazed their final day in the park last week.

goats eating leaves

The goats cleared a 1.5-acre section of the park of poison ivy and other noxious plants. However, there's more work to be done. The goats will return in the spring and set to work clearing another area of the park that was damaged by superstorm Sandy.

During their tenure at the park, the goats were closely managed by a human crew, and all of the animals received rabies shots and 30-day check-ups.


Bringing goats in to restore the park was the brainchild of Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance's Vice President of Capital and Landscape Management. Zimmerman, a landscape architect, applied for a National Parks Service grant through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The grant runs through 2018, so for at least the next couple of years, goats are sure make seasonal appearances in Prospect Park.

You can read more about the Prospect Park goats here.

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Overachieving Goats Have Cleaned up Brooklyn's Prospect Park