The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?
For the past seven years, the Anishinaabe people have been facing the largest tar sands pipeline project in North America. We still are. In these dying moments of the fossil fuel industry, Water Protectors stand, prepared for yet another battle for the water, wild rice and future of all. We face Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in North America, and the third largest corporation in Canada. We face it unafraid and eyes wide open, for indeed we see the future.
By Mara Dolan
We see the effects of the climate crisis all around us in hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels, but our proximity to these things, and how deeply our lives are changed by them, are not the same for everyone. Frontline groups have been leading the fight for environmental and climate justice for centuries and understand the critical connections between the climate crisis and racial justice, economic justice, migrant justice, and gender justice. Our personal experiences with climate change are shaped by our experiences with race, gender, and class, as the climate crisis often intensifies these systems of oppression.