Eco-Friendly Sheep Back on Governors Island

The five landscapers, on hand for their summer job. Photo: Trust for Governors Island

Governors Island is welcoming five hungry and ecologically helpful sheep, (three of them back for the third year) that will spend their summer munching on a variety of invasive plants that grow on the island’s Hammock Grove. The seasonal landscapers, Evening, Chad, Philip Aries, Bowie and Jupiter, will be chowing down on such problem species as mug­wort and phrag­mite, helping to prevent them from flowering, spreading their seeds, and crowding out the good growth. According to the Trust for Governors Island, the sheep reduce the time horticultural staff spend ridding the grounds of the evasive species by more than 70%.

“As always, these ani­mals will give me and my team more time to do what we love (gar­den­ing) by spend­ing each day doing what they love (eat­ing),” Trust for Governors Island gardener Leo Frampton said in a statement. “They will help us max­i­mize the eco­log­i­cal ben­e­fits of Ham­mock Grove, as it con­tin­ues to grow into a ful­ly formed urban for­est that all New York­ers can escape to.” 

Several sheep herding demonstrations and hands-on wool activities will be held on the island in partnership with Friends of Tivoli Lake Pre­serve and Farm, the sheeps’ home base. Dates to be announced.