by: Diana Davis Updated:
ATLANTA - A herd of 100 sheep are being brought to Chastain Park for several weeks to help save trees.
The sheep will begin a two- to three-week run at the park next month. It’s part of a Trees Atlanta project to protect trees overrun by kudzu. Kudzu, the infamous southern weed, is a favorite meal of sheep and goats.
Brian Cash, owner of Eweniversally Green, said his herd has chewed its way through about 400 projects around metro Atlanta.
“They really like kudzu. Kudzu is high in protein. It’s a legume, so they do favor it. They'll eat as much as they can,” said Cash.
Channel 2’s Diana Davis spoke to him while the herd was on the job at a Newton County farm Tuesday.
The Chastain Park grounds, just a stone's throw from the Chastain Amphitheater are being overrun with kudzu, killing oaks and pines. The park’s one resident goat, Chuck, hasn’t been able to keep up.
“The kudzu is kind of of over-running his capacity, so he needs help,” said Ray Mock, the operations manager of the Chastain’s conservancy.
The kudzu is so thick, it’s choking and suffocating native trees, according to Trees Atlanta’s Bethany Clark.
“It’s definitely wreaking havoc on our green space. We've got just a large section right here. It’s usurping water from the trees. Its edging out the native plants here,” she said.
The sheep project at Chastain is one of four environmentally friendly weed-eating projects that Trees Atlanta has planned around the city this summer, following up to a project with goats last year. The goats were used in the Boulevard Crossing Park to make way for proposed green space along the Beltine.
“They get the job done, tackling two to three acres of kudzu. And they can eat about an acre of kudzu in about three to five days,” said Clark.
It will take about two to three weeks for the sheep to chew their way through Chastain Park. They start grazing June 8.