This summer Prospect Park has a retro way to remove unwanted weeds: goats. Eight of them, from Rhinebeck.
The goats will graze on 1.5 acres in the northeast corner of park. They're fenced in on a hilly section of the Vale of Cashmere, next to the Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area, eating the invasive species that encroached after 50 trees were damaged by Sandy.
The goats, with their four stomachs each, will devour the poison ivy, English Ivy, and goutweed that have proliferated now that sunshine pierces the tree canopy. "The goats will eat anything and everything and that's the beauty of having them here," said Sue Donoghue, the president of the Prospect Park Alliance. "They'll actual help us with the removal of invasive species."
Eleanor Forster was on a morning stroll with her 3-year-old daughter and stumbled on the goats. "Having the animals here in a kind of natural environment without being in the zoo, it's lovely," she said.
But no petting these goats. In addition to the fact that they're behind an 8-foot-high fence, they're also covered in poison ivy (which doesn't affect them).
The goats have grazed around the region in other parks, including Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island and the Gateway National Recreation Area.
After the goats are gone, the park will plant native trees and shrubs in that area.