Multifunctional Public Green Spaces Start Here.

A flock of sheep has been grazing at various public spaces on campus to find out if they can eat weeds and grass, fertilize and control pests as well as or better than traditional landscaping methods. The pilot project started in May and continues throughout the fall. A. Haven Kiers, assistant professor of landscape architecture, leads the project. She aims to gather evidence that sheep can benefit urban lawn landscapes and increase their usage in the future. “I want to add a pastoral feel to the campus,” Kiers said. “We’re an ag campus, and I think [there is] the potential to bring in sheep and to really celebrate Davis’ agricultural roots.” As a control, an adjacent, traditionally landscaped acre of grassland will be maintained by campus the usual way. The grass height and condition will be assessed on each site before and after grazing. The sheep are grazing once a month for a few days.

Undergraduate researcher Hunter Ottman oversees the “sheep mowers” on Solano Field.