Sheep replace lawn mowers at cemeteries in Charlotte, Vermont

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

This summer, the town of Charlotte, Vermont, implemented a new money-saving strategy for keeping the its cemeteries well groomed: it hired two goats and two sheep to do the work.

Stephen Brooks, chairman of Charlotte's Cemetery Commission, told NPR that the grazing animals, rented from a local farmer, have reduced the need to mow and fertilize, saving the town at least $2,000 a year in fuel expenses.

"The craft in taking care of a cemetery includes not only the skills for landscaping but some budget skills to manage whatever small funds might be available from the town," Brooks told Vermont Public Radio.

Most Charlotte residents have embraced the economically savvy, eco-friendly solution:

"There was just this one complaint from one person out of state who didn't like the fact that the sheep were urinating and defecating on the hallowed ground," Charles Russell, a local farmer, told NPR. "I'd say it's not very respectful to spray gasoline and spray fumes all over the gravestones either."

Charlotte, Vermont, isn't the only place to seek help landscaping help from livestock.

The Chicago Department of Aviation is currently looking for about 30 goats and a herder for a program aimed at taming the grass in an area of the airport grounds that is difficult to mow, Fox News reports, added that airports in Atlanta and San Francisco already use goats.

Both Google and Yahoo! have used goats to help clean up the land surrounding their California headquarters.