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Conestoga College hiring a group of 'lamb-scapers'

Sheep will be used to maintain vegetation under Conestoga College's solar panels. (Conestoga College/Submitted) Sheep will be used to maintain vegetation under Conestoga College's solar panels. (Conestoga College/Submitted)

A flock of about ten sheep will join the grounds keeping crew at Conestoga College this spring to maintain the vegetation growing under the solar panels at the Cambridge-Fountain Street campus.

The school said it’s hiring the “lamb-scapers” for a two-year trial period from All Sorts Acres farm in Grey County.

“It presents a unique opportunity to integrate urban agriculture at Conestoga while eliminating the need for herbicides and gas-powered landscaping equipment,” said Samantha Tremmel Lamb, environmental sustainability and energy performance manager at Conestoga, in a news release.

Starting in early June, the sheep will be on-site for a two-week period within the fenced area surrounding the solar field.

An on-site shepherd will accompany them and bring them back to munch on the vegetation a couple of more times before fall.

The first year of this pilot project will focus on setup and implementation, and the second will introduce educational and engagement opportunities, Conestoga said.

The college said there are many benefits to this program.

Vegetation will be controlled under the solar panels where it’s difficult to mow, and the sheep could also contribute to the college by providing fertilizer for campus gardens and green spaces.

The plan is to integrate the shepherds and sheep into educational opportunities.

Conestoga said there are no known solar grazing initiatives in Waterloo Region, making it the first in the region and the first post-secondary institution in Ontario to do this.

The solar field’s 1,800 panels generate about 750,000 kWh of renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of electricity for 66 homes for one year. Top Stories

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