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The New York City nickname Gotham – meaning “goat town” in Old English – was popularized by Washington Irving in 1807. Though originally meant as a put-down, New Yorkers embraced the name. “Goat town” was an apt description of the undeveloped Upper West Side where goats used to roam.

Today, it applies once again.

On Tuesday, May 21st Riverside Park Conservancy brought a herd of goats to Gotham, to create Goatham – a hard-to-access area in the northern part of the Park. The goats, who have all retired from former careers, are from a local farm. They have taken up residency for the summer on sloped terrain that is rife with invasive plants. Since goats are naturally effective weed whackers, putting than to work in Goatham is like treating them to an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s hearty for the goats and good for the environment.

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