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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

Sheep vs. Lawnmowers: UC Campus Tests Which is Better to Maintain Grounds


The woolly ewes are part of a multidisciplinary study to explore the possibilities of saving the campus money and resources at the same time.

"My interest is taking the science on green infrastructure and sustainability and designing it so it's interactive, beautiful and practical," said A. Haven Kiers, assistant professor of landscape architecture in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, who is leading the project.

Kiers has hired student sheepherders to watch over the sheep's three-day stay on the grassy area along Old Davis Road, adjacent to the UC Davis Arboretum.

Kiers is a longtime proponent of green infrastructure such as green roofs you can grow plants on, and urban landscapes that are aesthetically pleasing as well as ecologically productive. The grazing sheep pilot project is a natural outgrowth of that research.

She said she is bringing to the campus her concept of Nature HEALS (for health, engagement, aesthetics, landscapes and sustainability) to emulate a historical practice throughout France—and even at the White House and in Central Park—and bring a pastoral setting to UC Davis, and hopefully spawn that idea for other campuses and municipalities at a grander scale.