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Goats at Brooklyn Bridge Park: Hard at work this summer

Great view, unlimited food, a pack that sticks together: the newest definition of squad goals. If you’re a goat, that is.

The latest pack of goats to come to Brooklyn this summer took over the untamed uplands over Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of a two month pilot program. Their counterparts started munching away last month in the Sandy-ravaged parts of Prospect Park.

Photo Credit: Alison Fox

"What the goats are here to do is make sure that we keep weeds to a low and manageable level," said Rebecca McMackin, the director of horticulture for the park. "We are an organic park -- we don't use herbicides or pesticides -- so we're not going to spray everything with chemicals to treat it. And this is way too many weeds for our staff to hand pull so goats are really the most sustainable method of managing a landscape like this."

This pack of brothers -- from left, Hector, Minnie, Horatio, Eyebrows -- tended to stick together as a group on Thursday.

The goats, from Rhinebeck-based Green Goats (where the
Photo Credit: Alison Fox

The goats, from Rhinebeck-based Green Goats (where the Prospect Park goats came from), will start off with about 1,000 square feet of land. If things go well, which McMackin said should be apparent in a few weeks, they will move on to the larger area.

"It's a big test, we're experimenting," she said. "We don't know how many goats are going to eat how many weeds over how many days."

The land, or berm, is actually built to
Photo Credit: Alison Fox

The land, or berm, is actually built to shield the peaceful park from the noisy highway above.

The goats tend to stick together, but each has his own personality. Eyebrows may be the smallest, but he's also the most curious of the bunch. And Hector tends to lead the pack. Minnie and Horatio stay with each other.

And while only their handlers should and feed
Photo Credit: Alison Fox

And while only their handlers should and feed them -- they're there to eat the weeds, after all -- Brooklynites hoping for a good view can climb to the top of the Promenade and watch them work.


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