Quantcast

Meet New York's Newest Groundskeeping Crew

Animals

New York's newest landscaping crew are certainly unusual hires. They are charged with weeding Brooklyn, New York's last remaining greenspace. They walk on four legs. They eat everything. And they are covered in fur. Yep, they're goats.

Mozart of Green Goats works at Hugh Moore Park in Easton, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Green Goats

The Prospect Park Alliance hired eight goats to help weed Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The goats—Zoya, Olivia, Max, Charlie Brown, Diego, Raptor, Skittles and Reese—will work through the summer to clean up the park that has been rattled by a tornado and hurricanes Irene and Katrina, according to the New York Times. The job is expected to be completed by September.

Zoya and crew will leave their home in Rhinebeck, New York, and take up residency in Prospect Park, working on fenced-off sections that need the most help. Larry and Ann Cihanek, the goats' owners and owners of Green Goats, will check on the herd twice a week. Ann told The Guardian that goats love weeds such as poison ivy and will eat those plants first.

Green Goats work at Pelham Park in Bronx, New York. Photo credit: Green Goats

“They're a bit like children," Larry told the New York Times. “They will eat their favorite foods first, and one of their top foods is poison ivy. They love it."

A single goat can eat up to 25 pounds in one day.

The Prospect Park project isn't unusual for the Cihaneks and their goats. Green Goats, which houses 170 goats, has been sending goat herds out on assignment for nine years. The four-legged weed-eaters have worked with the National Park Service, cemeteries, colleges and more, according to Green Goats' website.

"Goats have been used to control undesirable vegetation throughout history," states the website. "They've eaten grass, and cleared brush on slopes, woodlots and hedge rows long before brush cutters and herbicides were invented."

Green Goats work on weeding the grounds of Wilderstein Historic Site in Rhinebeck, New York. Photo credit: Green Goats

Other than being a natural, chemical-free method of weed removal, using goats has saved past customers anywhere from 50 to 75 percent compared to other methods, the website says.

"Its good for the goats, good for the environment and good for park's budgets," Green Goats boasts.

The goats begin work today.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Monsanto's Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Weed Killer in History

World Farmers Need to Do More to Stop Catastrophic Climate Change

EU Delays Approval of Glyphosate, Again

Join Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less