These Urban Sheep Mow the Grass in This City's Park

This flock spreads joy to people in the park.

Grazing sheep in the park.

(Kaiskynet Studio /

Parks are full of playgrounds, ballfields, benches, and places for people to commune with nature. One park in Montreal is also home to a flock of sheep. These working animals have an important job to do, they mow the grass and interact with the people who also flock to the park.

Jupiter, KitKat, Thérèse, Sparkles and 12 more sheep leave their mobile barn everyday – rain or shine – at the large sprawling Parc Maisonneuve during the summer months according to Global News. The flock heads out every morning to roam and graze in the park accompanied by three shepherds.

There are 100 volunteers that rotate as shepherds and take care of the flock of eco-mowers. “They’re not compacting the ground like lawnmowers, they’re not scaring all the birds, all the wildlife around because they’re not as noisy,” Laurence Sauvageau-Fresco from the nonprofit Biquette à Montreal that takes care of the sheep, told Global News.

Biquette has been running this project for six years and it is extremely successful. That’s because the animals do more than just landscaping. The curious sheep like to join the yoga classes and picnickers who use the park.

“If you sometimes sit on the ground and you’re calm, having a picnic or doing yoga there, there are more chances that they will come close,” Sauvageau-Fresco said. “Sometimes the shepherds help to bring them around when there’s a class.”

This project has changed lives, she said, by bringing a bit of country to Montreal’s city dwellers. “It’s not just using them [the sheep], it’s living alongside them.”

Sauvageau-Fresco began volunteering in 2018 and was instantly hooked. She knows all the sheep by name as well as their personalities. Jupiter is the oldest and is a mother of twins. Kitkat is all black but her daughter Thérèse is completely white. “I’m like their godmother because I’m so close to them,” she said.

The organization also holds workshops for nature enthusiasts on Saturdays about the park’s biodiversity and topics like making wool and medicinal plants according to Montreal Families. Yoga classes are held on Tuesdays or Thursdays. You must register in advance. Residents who want to see the sheep can come every day from 9 am to 7 pm until September 5, 2021.

But, Sauvageau-Fresco cautions that this is not a petting zoo and people should not feed or pet the hardworking flock.

While many other parks in the city want their own sheep, it takes a small army of volunteers to care for them, Sauvageau-Fresco told Global News. The nonprofit has done a short stint in other Montreal neighborhood parks and is hoping to expand to other parts of the city next year. Who knows, grazing sheep may be mowing grass in a park near you soon.

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