Governors Island Counting On Sheep For Landscaping Program
NEW YORK CITY – Sheep don’t believe the invasive plant species that sprout on Governors Island are that baaaad.
In fact, they find them delicious.
Governors Island caretakers are counting on a herd of five woolly shredders to take a big bite from invasive plants in the island’s hammock grove. For four to five months this summer they will transform the grove into a literal sheep meadow.
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the plan with a pun-filled statement Monday – its second day after “whining” a COVID-19 vaccination site under the American Museum of Natural History’s blue whale.
“The genius of this idea lies in its simplicity,” was de Blasio’s statement. “On behalf of the thousands of New Yorkers who flock to the open space on Governors Island each season, I want to thank Flour, Sam, Evening, Chad, and Philip Aries for doing their part to save New York City” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Bon appetit, guys.”
And yes, the Faaaab Five of Sheep are made of Flour, Sam, Evening, Chad, and Philip Aries – a herd of friends from Tivoli Lake Preserve and the Albany Farm.
The program is run by the Trust for Governors Island. They want to use the sheep as an inexpensive, environmentally friendly way to weed Hammock Grove and free human gardeners so that they spend less than 30 percent of their time fighting invasive species.
Sheep, unlike goats, will eat around young trees and not chew tree bark, officials said. They also particularly like phragmites, an extremely common invasive plant.
“This innovative, eco-friendly landscaping program protects our island’s plant life from invasive species and enables our horticultural team to devote their time to more productive activities than weeding Hammock Grove,” said Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust, in a statement. “Our new sheep workers arrived at the perfect time and we appreciate their contributions to protecting Governors Island’s natural landscapes.”