Your eyes do not deceive you. Those are in fact sheep handling lawn care along the Lake Erie shore.
Step aside John Deere, there's a different kind of animal handling lawn care along the lake. For the past month, a dozen sheep have been chomping away at the 4-acre expanse between Quay 55 and East 55th Street. The St. Clair Development Corp. and a company called Urban Shepherds have partnered to create an urban grazing program. "We wanted to see if we could improve the maintenance by using sheep to weed, feed and fertilize," says St. Clair Superior Development Corp. executive director Michael Fleming. As strange as this may seem, urban grazing is not a new phenomenon. The 12 sheep along the shore are from Spicy Lamb Farms in Peninsula. Although the area where they're grazing is fenced in, the threat of dog and coyote attacks still looms. To counter that, a guardian llama (yes, you read that right) is watching over the sheep. Fleming says it moves with the flock and is actually very intimidating to predators. "I've seen it even go after birds and dogs that were on the sight," he says, "so I know that they are pretty threatening."