Montreal taps sheep to shear grass in some city parks
Posted June 15, 2022 4:24 pm.
Last Updated January 29, 2023 2:10 pm.
Sheep are baaaaack in Montreal parks this summer. Grazing green spaces and helping replace lawnmowers, which is all part of Biquette à Montreal’s mission – bringing eco-grazing to the city.
“You can hear them kind of pull the grass up out of the ground,” said Amber Forrester, urban shepherd with Biquette à Montreal. “It’s like a very satisfying, like, crunch sound.”
Maintaining green spaces since 2016, the sheep are out on the job 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily all summer long. This year, you can find them at parks in Rivière-des-Prairies and Rosemont.
“We have three main goals, which are eco-grazing, educating and bringing joy,” explained Forrester.
The flock, is a friendly bunch – hard at work.
“The sheep are grazing in the place of lawnmowers,” said Forrester. “This is called eco-grazing, so it is an ecologically friendly manner of maintaining greenspaces.”
Spectators can get close but no petting is allowed.
#WATCH: Sheep are baaaaack in Montreal parks this summer. Grazing the green spaces, helping replace lawnmowers, which is all part of Biquette à Montreal’s mission – bringing eco-grazing to the city.
— CityNews Montreal (@CityNewsMTL) June 15, 2022
“We really want to highlight the fact that it is an eco-grazing project and not a petting zoo,” said Forrester while herding the sheep – including Remy, a sheep their team considers a prince because of his sweet personality.
“Remy was very little last year,” said Max Hugny, fellow urban shepherd with Biquette à Montreal. “We all loved him, and he was like a little prince.”
Hugny adores Remy so much – getting a tattoo of him was a must.
“This actually is my first tattoo, I never had one before,” explained Hugny. “I was just like, OK, I need to get this.”
When not grazing, the sheep are digesting. Coming together under their barn to do so.
“People often believe that they’re breathing heavily and that they’re hot, but what’s actually happening is that they’re ruminating,” said Forrester. “With the process of their four stomachs, this is the digestion process.”
Also at their barn – where they sleep at night. And at the end of the season, they head back to their farms outside of the city.
Want to volunteer for the summer? Anyone can, head to Biquette à Montreal’s website.
“I think everyone can benefit from five or 10 minutes walking alongside the sheep, living in the present moment,” said Forrester. “It’s such a great place to be.”