News & Press
Have Ewe Herd?
Trees Atlanta has hired 100 new four-legged employees: hungry sheep!Their one and only task this summer: eat and eliminate kudzu in several greenspaces throughout Atlanta. Trees Atlanta’s education and outreach program surrounding the sheep initiative is called “Have Ewe Herd??” and the program kicked-off on June 8th with the wildly successful free event “Breakfast with the Sheep” in Chastain Park, to which the Atlanta public was invited.
Six-hundred and fifty people attended! Trees Atlanta is often faced with extensive invasive plant removal in the greenspaces where it works to preserve existing tree canopy and replant young trees (learn more about invasive plants). Typically, the non-profit citizens group uses multiple applications of herbicide to eliminate the pesky plants. Though the chemicals are applied by licensed professionals and used as sparingly as possible, Trees Atlanta constantly seeks invasive plant control methods that are more environmentally-friendly.
The below maps show progress made by the herd in various Atlanta greenspaces, what vegetation they ate, and how long they worked on each area. Enter the sheep herd! They began work on June 1st, tackling approximately 2 acres of kudzu at Chastain Park before moving to the next greenspace. “Sheep offer a low-impact solution for controlling invasive plants on sites that do not contain sensitive or endangered plants, as well as on steeply sloped properties,” said Trees Atlanta Forest Restoration Coordinator, Brian Williams. ” Each sheep can eat up to 150 square feet of kudzu per day, so we expect the sheep to clear this site in fourteen days or less,” he continued. The sheep in this program, hired from Ewe-niversally Green, are protected by a human shepherd and guard dogs. The sites are surrounded by electrified temporary fencing to keep the sheep safe and on-task while they are working. Atlanta citizens will also have an opportunity to meet the sheep at the annual Trees Atlanta Tree Sale, to be held Saturday, October 13, 2012.