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Munching goats help restore storm-damaged Brooklyn woodlands

Friday, June 09, 2017 - 01:59

Brooklyn park uses munching goats instead of harmful chemicals to get rid of invasive plants. Roselle Chen reports.

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A herd of goats get to work on a woodland restoration project in the densely-populated New York City borough of Brooklyn, though their efforts only involve eating. Christian Zimmerman is Prospect Park Alliance's vice president of capital and landscape management. SOUNDBITE: Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance's vice president of capital and landscape management, saying (English): "So the idea of the goats is to use them to help with invasive removal, weed removal, within this woodland area. Hurricane Sandy came through, knocked down about 30 or so big trees, with big light gaps opening, and weeds just flourished. And so, we wanted to do invasive removal but we didn't want to use chemicals. People in the community, people in Brooklyn really would like it that us park managers, you know, stopped that or really reduced that. And the alternative, as we were researching it, and said, 'Well we don't do that then let's use goats.' Goats eat leaves, and they eat everything. They eat poison ivy." So the four goats - Max, Cinnamon, Swirl, and Unicorn - eat up to 25 pounds of underbrush each per day, clearing the way for their human counterparts to replant native trees. Park-goers Ethan and Alannah Fehrenbach said they liked the hoofed addition to the park. SOUNDBITE: Ethan, Prospect Park goer, saying (English): "I think I remember that he used to like chopping plants like yum, yum, yum. And also I just discovered it not really long ago, but that was like 10 or 11 days ago. And, so basically I bring Alannah here, and this is one of the reasons." SOUNDBITE: Alannah Fehrenbach, Prospect Park goer, saying (English): "I love that there there are goats in Prospect Park. It's awesome. I love goats, seeing more wildlife - well, I guess it's not really wildlife - but seeing more animals and Prospect Park is really great." Prospect Park Alliance received more than $700,000 (USD), as part of a grant program for Hurricane Sandy relief and the goat crew is provided by Green Goats farm in Rhinebeck, NY.

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Munching goats help restore storm-damaged Brooklyn woodlands

Friday, June 09, 2017 - 01:59