United Helpers maintenance workers Keith Kelley and Jim Harris built a shed that will house the five sheep taking up residence at the Heuvelton intermediate care facilities.
HEUVELTON -- United Helpers will be using sheep to cut the grass at two of its facilities.
Three adult sheep and two lambs will be housed in a mobile pen that will be moved around the grounds and they will mow the grass by eating it.
The idea started as a joke when behavior intervention specialist Barry J. Berghaus heard of California-based technology companies using sheep and goats to maintain their lawns, according to a news release from United Helpers.
Berghaus sent the idea to UH CEO Steve Knight as a joke, according to the release, but he okayed it and they bought a herd of sheep from Lauren Peters, Hammond.
Peters, a UH assistant program manager, had been using the animals to mow her yard for several years.
In addition to cutting down on maintenance costs, the sheep project will also be therapeutic for United Helpers residents.
“We do have some residents who really like animals … so we think this will be a real benefit for them," Berghaus said in the release.
They may take the idea to other United Helpers facilities, if it is successful in Heuvelton.
Three sheep and two lambs from a flock owned by United Helpers assistant program manager Lauren Peters will take up residence in Heuvelton to cut the lawn and provide a fun experience for residents.