They traveled a great distance on Christmas. They made their home in a stable.
Honestly, the seasonal similarities stop there. But the Belmont Goats, the beloved and peripatetic herd of urban goats, have moved into their third neighborhood.
The goats, managed by a Portland nonprofit, this Sunday completed their move into the Carey Boulevard Greenway, a city-owned property at 6631 N Syracuse St. in the University Park Neighborhood.
"A little more out of the way, a little less urban in its surroundings, but a respite still," the nonprofit writes on its website. "It's like The Grotto, but goats."
For the past decade, the Belmont Goats have served as a Portland neighborhood centerpiece—and a harbinger of urban renewal. (That's predictable, given that they live on empty city lots.) Their initial home, along Southeast Belmont Street, is now a luxury apartment complex called the Goat Blocks. Their next pasture, near Lents Town Center off Southeast 92nd Avenue, is being redeveloped by Prosper Portland.
So to NoPo they go.
Bix Frankonis, the project manager for the goats, says new neighbors have volunteered to construct fencing and sheds on the new property.
"I spent from like 9:30 am until maybe 2:30 pm there today and there were neighbors stopping by to say hi and welcome us pretty much throughout that period," Frankonis tells WW via email. We already have lots of interest from the immediate vicinity in helping out in the future."
Frankonis notes that volunteers have prepared the goats' new home in some of the heaviest rain Portland has seen this winter.
"That's on top of all the great help we had over these last three work party weekends," he adds, "and I especially want to shout-out the folks who came out Sunday because these weekends have been punishing, if rewarding, but if there was one day we needed to be smooth, it was Sunday and it was virtually flawless, and that's entirely due to everyone who came out and made it that way."
The goats may be sticking around for a while. Their new lot is Portland Housing Bureau property, recently purchased from the city's Water Bureau. Frankonis says the goats are not being charged rent and have a year-long permit they expect to renew for 2020.
People who want an organized meet-and-greet with the goats, or who want to donate to the project, can visit the Belmont Goats' new website.