Edgewater Park in the city of Pointe-Claire may very well resemble a farmer’s field this summer.
Monday morning, the city launched a pilot project, Eco-Grazing — involving a herd of six sheep that will roam the waterside park adjacent to Lake St-Louis, from June 11 to July 20.
“We want to show people that there are other options out there than using mechanical machines to cut grass,” Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere said.
The chomping of the sheep may be louder than you think, but Pointe-Claire resident Pirya Bhatia would take that over a lawn mower any day.
“I think it also reduces the noise of lawn mowers which I absolutely hate,” Bhatia said.
Together, the herd of munching sheep will eat 30 pounds of grass in one eight-hour day, says shepherd Simon Villancourt.
The sheep will be periodically moved around throughout the park in a fenced in enclosure.
Although good for the green stuff, Villancourt says not to worry — the by-product of a successful days work will be removed.
Villancourt and his sheep will take the 45-minute drive home every night to Surgarhill farm.
Its not all work and no play for the city’s new four-legged hires, though. The municipality has organized scheduled events like shearing, knitting and even yoga.
Katherine Levesseur came from Kirkland to see them, and she’s pretty eager to bend over backwards with the Edgewater sheep.
“I’m excited to see how yoga with the sheep will go down,” she said.
The family-friendly fluffy farm animals are gentle, Mayor Belvedere says. Residents are invited to get up close and personal with the sheep, and for 25, cents on weekends, you can feed them by hand.
The city hopes the initiative will inspire greener actions in the community,
“Maybe you will think to change,” Belvedere said. “‘What can I do differently? Can I use a push mower or something else?’ It is a nice way to to make people think about ideas and what can we do for the environment.”
For more information, you can find the schedule and the full list of events on Pointe-Claire’s website.