| Environmental Columns

Eco-grazing pilot project: Sheep in Pointe-Claire

Until July 20, six sheep will be at Edgewater Park as part of an eco-grazing pilot project.

Eco-grazing is an ecological method to maintain green spaces using animals instead of machines or chemical fertilisers. Sheep, horses, ponies, and cattle are some of the animals used for eco-grazing and are chosen according to their benefits.

Eco-grazing is becoming more and more popular in several regions in Canada. In 2016, Calgary introduced goats in one of their city parks to mitigate thistle and noxious weeds. A habitat conservation area in Regina’s Wascana Centre also used goats to control populations of invasive plants (Canada thistle and caragana), which reduced the use of herbicides. Lastly, Montréal’s Pelican Park in Rosemont – La-Petite-Patrie used lambs and sheep in a pilot project that was conducted in 2016 and has continued since.

Inspired by these experiences, Pointe-Claire has introduced sheep at Edgewater Park this summer. The sheep will be at the park until July 20 every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting. Visitors can pet the sheep every day and purchase feed on Saturdays. This project provides opportunities to connect with animals and gives us a glimpse of the possibilities surrounding urban agriculture.

Activities with the sheep are scheduled every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. The final activity, a shearing and spinning demonstration, will take place on July 19.

In addition to these activities planned for the public, some day camps did arts and crafts, certain community groups organized picnics, and knitting groups for seniors in Pointe-Claire took the opportunity to hold their weekly meetings near the eco-grazing area.