JUN 11, 2017 7:06 AM PDT

Brooklyn's Prospect Park Hires Goats to Replace Herbicides

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York has called upon the help of goats once again. They’ve being tasked with helping to clear the park’s surrounding woods of invasive weeds and other greens with the goal of helping to make the park a better-looking place year-round.

The goats were originally called to the park two individual times last Summer to deal with the problem, and they did so well at providing cheap and efficient weeding that they’ve been hired for the job again for the Summer months of this year.

Three of the employed goats at Brooklyn's Prospect Park pose for a picture.

Image Credit: Community News Group/Colin Mixson via Brooklyn Paper

Among the things they help clear are random growths of grass, patches of weeds and vines, and problematic spawns of poison ivy, with poison ivy being one of the main concerns of park staff for the safety of its visitors.

The goats have proven to be a great alternative to herbicides, which are known to cause problems for nature’s insects, namely pollinators, such as bees. Using goats, which already do this in a natural setting, is better for the environment. They fertilize the ground at the same time that they clear away the unwanted greenery, and so it's a great move for protecting one of Brooklyn’s last remaining forests. The whole concept is getting a host of positive support.

Related: Do we really need pesticides?

As it would appear, the goats not only make the park look better and make room for planting more trees when they’re finished, but they also attract tourists who want to take selfies with them. The goats reportedly munch their way through the park's greens every day of the week and are available for tourists to snap photos of whenever the park is open.

A grand total of four goats are working at Prospect Park at this point in time; one is a pygmy goat and is black in color, while the other three are Toggenburg goats and are white in color instead. The pygmy goat, who goes by the name of Max, is a returning helper; he was at the park last year too.

You can catch a glimpse of the animals in the following tourist-taken YouTube video:

It’s certainly nice to see this park taking the steps necessary to protect the environment by using non-invasive means of cleaning up problematic weeds and unwanted plants, as chemical herbicides can have negative impacts on the environment. Perhaps more should follow in Prospect Park’s footsteps.

Source: BBC, Brooklyn Paper

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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