Have you herd? Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced a new vegetation management initiative dubbed, ‘Goats on the Go,’ joined by County Legislators Debra Mulé and Arnold Drucker. The County will be utilizing the six, four legged friends that live at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) to naturally mow down dense, overgrown, unwanted weeds and brush, expanding parkland and walking paths for visitors. The County Executive also announced a contest to name two of the goats, both females who came to the County as orphans, and introduced the other members of the new vegetation management team including Lucifer, Sandy, Clover, Jackie. To submit a name, email TheGoats@nassaucountyny.gov or comment on the contest’s flier found on www.Facebook.com/NCExecutive.
“Grazing goats are a greener, cheaper and very effective way of landscaping – dating back thousands of years. Unlike conventional motorized equipment, these natural weed-eaters control overgrown brush without disturbing the existing grass and soil – and they won’t leave behind synthetic chemicals like herbicides, that could seep into the ground and potentially our water sources,” said Nassau County Executive Curran. “And goats can easily traverse over rocks and hills and places difficult for humans to access. This is a win on all fronts – for our environment, residents and furry friends who are happy to munch all kinds of greens up to 12 hours a day.”
“The Goats on the Go program, is not only eco-friendly but it is also environmentally responsible. This program allows goats to graze on hard to reach and unwanted vegetation areas at the Bethpage Village Restoration,” said Nassau County Legislator Mulè’. “I am proud to support this eco-friendly initiative and I am looking forward to bringing this program to other parts of the county such as the Brookside Preserve.”
“In recent years, goat grazing has been used as an eco-friendly way to naturally mow neglected pastures. The goats-on-the-go program is not only cost effective, but it is innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly,” said Nassau County Legislator Drucker. “I am proud to support this landscaping initiative and I encourage all residents to enter the goat naming contest.”
The County Executive outlined additional advantages of utilizing goats for vegetation management including their ability to consume a wide range of invasive plants like poison ivy. Goats have even been used to eat Christmas trees after the season has ended and are used across the globe to clear dried brush prone to wildfires. Goats also leave behind in their wake natural fertilizer, that they then stomp into the ground with their tough hooves, which richens the soil.
If successful at OBVR, the goats will hit the road and be deployed for goatscaping at other properties throughout the County. Some of the properties being explored include Brookside Preserve in Freeport/Baldwin, Hempstead Plains and the Francis Purcell Preserve in Uniondale, part of Hempstead Plains.