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See it: New Rochelle, N.Y. brings in goats to take on invasive species at Ward Acres Park

Goats brought in to help clean up New Rochelle park
Goats brought in to help clean up New Rochelle park 02:03

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - An overgrown patch of a suburban New York park will be mostly free of invasive species soon thanks to a herd of goats

The herd of goats arrived at Ward Acres Park, giving students from the nearby Ward School much to chew over. 

"Do they get their water from the food or do they get their water from somewhere else?" student Tyson Philip asked. 


"Goats do get most of their water from the plants they're eating," Jenn Balch said. Balch is co-owner of rent-a-goat company Fat & Sassy Goats. "During the grazing season, which is March to October, the goats are out grazing at parks and private residences and areas where there are a lot of weeds." 

Goats have four stomachs

Steven Cadenhead runs a friends of the park group that worked with New Rochelle to gather the goats, so they could nibble their way through an overgrown patch of park. 

"So there's a lot of environmental benefits, and everyone loves goats," Cadenhead said. 


"They're actually known as the 'Swiss army knife' of nature.  They can really kind of go in and do everything. Pull the vines, eat the weeds, and their manure actually fertilizes the ground for future plantings," Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert said. 

Birds and deer spread invasive species through their droppings. Not goats. They have a fourth stomach which ferments foods, destroying invasive species seeds. They eat up to 12 hours a day and, like all of us, appreciate a little snooze after a good meal. 

They are kept penned in safely behind an electrified fence, and surveillance cameras keep an eye on them, too. 

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