11. Real Goats Helped Cleared Invasive Species

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In 2016 and 2017, eights hungry goats were brought into Prospect Park to help restore the woodlands of the Vale of Cashmere, an area formed 17,000 years ago by the Wisconsin Glacier. Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s last remaining indigenous forests and recent storms, including Superstorm Sandy, had led to the loss of 500 trees. The goats were brought in as part of a 1.2 million dollar restoration effort. The goats eat weeds and invasive species down to the roots so they can’t grow again. The goats travelled down to the city from Green Goats farm in Rhinebeck and will returned there when their job was complete. They had performed similar services at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, the Gateway National Recreation Area, and most recently Riverside Park.

Prospect Park is no stranger to animals. Long Meadow was once filled with a flock of sheep who grazed there for decades. According to Prospect Park: Olmsted and Vaux’s Brooklyn Masterpiece, in 1872 forty-four pigs, thirty-five goats, eighteen cows, and twenty-three horses were caught in the park.