Sheep will spend July grazing in Montreal's Pelican Park
A flock of sheep is now living in the middle of Montreal.
Eight sheep moved into Pelican Park in the Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough on the weekend as part of a pilot project.
The idea is to have the urban flock trim grass at this park and several other parks around the borough over the next month, before they are returned to La Ferme Gastronomique Chez Anouk, in Mont-Laurier, about 250 kilometres north of Montreal.
The goal is not just to care for the lawns, but to let city-dwellers reconnect with nature, and how food is grown and what they eat.
The sheep will also provide fertilizer to be used throughout the city.
The sheep aren’t just attracting human visitors, explained shepherdess Laurence Barchichat.
“Because the sheep as lawn mowers have much less impact and much less noise, you’re increasing biodiversity in parks. Birds and insects that would normally be afraid of the lawnmower or afraid of its impact are returning to these parks and increasing biodiversity,” she said.
Biquette a Montreal (Montreal sweethearts) made the arrangements, and is still looking for volunteers willing to care for the sheep, or to help teach non-farmers about the animals.
The sheep will be fenced in as they graze each day, and will be sheltered in a mobile barn each night.
They will never be alone since at least one shepherd will be watching the herd during the day, and sleeping in the barn at night.
Several other groups are assisting the project, with Compost Montreal hauling away the manure and soiled straw.
The sheep will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Aug. 7.