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They’re baaaack: Goats return to Riverside Park

Photo by Tequila Minsky

They go where no man has gone before! Well almost, grazing the thick thorny foliage, the invasive undergrowth in craggy, hilly parts of Riverside Park difficult to manage until the goats.
They’re Green Goats (of) Rhinebeck who, since 2007, supply goats and working expertise for removal of undesirable vegetation in national, state, county and city and town parks.
Twenty-five weed-eating goats returned to Riverside Park on Wednesday morning for the Riverside Park Conservancy’s second-ever “Running of the Goats.” The public witnessed their trotting down the “goatway” from their truck to a weed-filled hill at 120th Street. Ten will stay for a week and then five or six will remain for the rest of the summer to keep trim about two acres of Riverside Park undergrowth. They’ll only eat invasive plants.

The paparazzi and Chulupa.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
A photo of Chulupa’s good side.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Goats are naturally effective weed whackers. Riverside Park Conservancy President Dan Garodnick commented, “Putting them to work in Gotham is like treating them to an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s healthy for the goats and good for the environment.”

Green Goats has about 180 goats and in the next two or three weeks the lot will be all rented out according to Green Goats owner Larry Cihanek.

What was the largest project you ever had? Cihanek was asked. “Four years ago, we brought 75 goats,” he detailed, having to tackle four acres in Pelham Park in a project that started very late and should have taken 20 goats. “We finished in three weeks,” Cihanek said. And yes, the goats were very happy.

And what do they do during the approximately eight month hiatus when they’re not earning and eating their keep? “They eat $25,000 worth of hay,” Cihanek quipped.

Chalupa is the star, the main attraction for all the visiting children.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Lured by food, they’re off and running! Boro Prez Gale Brewer catching the action!(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Neighbors and slews of children lined the goatway to pet Chulupa who greeted the adoring crowd and posed for the paparazzi.

During the remarks phase of the event, Council Member Mark Levine (and winner of Democratic primary for Borough President) noted that weed is now legal, so this is all good.

Representative Jerry Nadler who is in his 15th term in Congress and has decades of experience with old goats said that the quality of the weeds was so good that it was certain the goats were being paid the prevailing wage.

Chalupa is the star with Rep. Jerry Nadler, Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Conservancy President Dan Garodnick.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Rep. Nadler with decades in Congress has lots of experience with old goats, with Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Conservancy President Dan Garodnick.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Chalupa is the star. Walked the goatway, got petted by children, and posed for the paparazzi.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
For this season, their first “taste of Riverside Park.”(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Goats gone wild in the undergrowth of Riverside Park.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Goats gone wild in the undergrowth of Riverside Park.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

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