Contact: Jonathan Strunk, 978-934-3332 or Jonathan_Strunk@uml.edu or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu
WHEN: Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31
WHERE: UMass Lowell North Campus next to the VFW Highway. Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.
WHAT: In a scene that may look more like the Welsh countryside than Lowell, more than 100 sheep have been deployed to a steep and grassy piece of UMass Lowell property along the VFW highway to participate in some sustainable and delicious mowing.
UMass Lowell officials said the gradient of North Campus property, as well as the groundhog holes and the bee stings, made it difficult to mow by hand. The herd, supplied by Goats to Go out of Georgetown, should be able to complete the same job in about three days and at roughly half the cost.
“Increased sustainability is always a priority for campus operations and using sheep and goats to keep the grass short along this stretch of land is cheaper for the university and safer for our workers,” said T.J. McCarthy, director of facilities operations and services.
This is the first time UMass Lowell has used this service but officials are considering future uses. The sheep are scheduled to remain in place for about three days – depending on the strength of their appetites.