Pennsylvania municipalities aren’t sheepish about lawn maintenance

By Kristin Smith-Ely

Sheep and goats are helping clear and maintain land for Pennsylvania municpalities.

As a way to save manpower and be more sustainable, the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania, has been employing a few dozen Katahdin sheep to help maintain rocky storm water basins on municipal property for the last six years.

According to a report on, the move to use goats, sheep and other grazing lifestock is growing in popularity in suburban municipalities.

The animals are usually used in areas that are difficult for human workers to access. They mow down on the invasive species.

Upper Dublin’s herd usually spends about four months circulating among properties in the county, according to the report. They’re on loan from Susan Sacks’ farm, a plot of family land about 40 minutes north in Perkiomenville.

It’s not costing Upper Dublin anything to borrow the sheep. They thrive outdoors without any shelter, and aside from a few refills of their water trough each week, the sheep are pretty much left to their own devices, the article says.

Goats are thriving about an hour away at the Lanchester Landfill, The Chester County Solid Waste Authority has maintained the goats at the property for several years that graze on 500 acres.

And Upper Merion Township, an overgrown park was cleared with about 20 goats – a cheaper alternative than using herbicides and machinery.