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Goats Enlisted to Trim Grass in NYC Park

One New York City Park is getting some non-human help maintaining its green space this week, as a herd of goats has been brought in to help trim the lawn.

The managers of Stuyvesant Cove Park on Manhattan’s East River brought in 20 goats to clear invasive weeds and brush that had built up over the summer. Staffing and budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic left the area overgrown.

Park service officials say as New York residents turned to parks as safe outlets for socialization and recreation, during the pandemic, they also left excessive trash and trampled plantings in their wake.

So, the managers of Stuyvesant Cove turned to a nonprofit group and rented 20 goats, which began chewing their way through the weeds and long grass on Tuesday.  

Park manager Candace Thompson says the goats are more efficient and environmentally friendly than hiring a team of gardeners.

“These goats, in a matter of three days, are going to take all of this plant matter, eat it, and poop it out as fertilizer that’ll make this garden perfect for growing a bunch of native, edible plants next spring,” she said.

The park is a few blocks from the United Nations headquarters and the largest commercial district in the U.S., which makes it an unlikely spot for farm animals.  

But city residents who frequent the park have been positive, saying the goats provide a calming respite from the city around them.  

After the goats have eaten their fill, Thompson says the space will be rehabilitated for next year’s growing season.

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