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Goats to the Rescue: Battling Invasive Plants in Ward Acres Park

The Ward Acres Conservancy in partnership with the City of New Rochelle Department of Parks and Recreation will be employing an unusual method in its efforts to remove unwanted and invasive plant growth in Ward Acres Park. For approximately 5 days beginning May 20, 2024, a herd of approximately 30 goats will be deployed to eat this vegetation and “recycle” it. See map for where the goats will be.


Note: Goats may be observed up close from many locations in the Park, but from behind a fence. Petting of the goats will not be possible. 


Our vendor (Fat and Sassy Goats from Rhinebeck, NY; website: fatandsassygoatsny.com) is full-service goat grazing services company dedicated to restoring land to a better ecological balance. They will bring the goats to a temporarily fenced area of the park where they will stay for the duration of the service. The fencing is solar powered, child and pet friendly, and is designed to contain the goats and keep them separated from dogs and people. The vendor will manage all aspects of the goats’ health and well-being.


Goats are the “Swiss army knife” of nature: they eat undesirable vegetation, ferment it into nitrogen-rich manure pellets and aerate the soil with their hooves. This process helps transition land to better long-term health.


Steve Cadenhead, Ward Acres Conservancy President said: “This is an experiment.  We’re trying all sorts of environmentally friendly approaches to invasive plant management within the Park, and we’re hoping this will be a resounding success and that we can bring them back to the Park. For me, they’re also a lot more fun to watch than a team of landscapers.”


Vincent Parise, Commissioner of the New Rochelle Department of Parks & Recreation said: “When Ward Acres Conservancy Board brought this idea to us, we immediately recognized it as a fun way to demonstrate an environmentally responsible way to solve a big problem in the park. We see it as a teachable moment for all New Rochelle residents and an opportunity to possibly visit a park you’ve never been to with your friends and family.”



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