CARLISLE, Pa. (The Blaze/AP) -- A central Pennsylvania school has a woolly plan to keep its grass neatly trimmed.
The Carlisle Area School District says it can save up to $15,000 a year by turning over some landscaping chores to sheep.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports the district is using the sheep to keep the grass near its solar panels neatly trimmed. The sheep nibble grass in the morning and take refuge in the shade of the panels in the afternoon.
With the food already on hand, the district need only supply the sheep with water.
A middle school assistant principal is providing the sheep. Eric Sands says he's still trying to figure out exactly how many sheep he needs to use to keep the area clear.
“Right now, we’re testing how many sheep the solar area can maintain. ... It looks like the grass is still growing, so I’m going to have to bring in more,” he told the Patriot-News.
According to the outlet, the practice of using sheep is popular:
Dan Ludwig is a grazing specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service based in Lebanon County. He said leasing animals for grazing on swaths of government and private land is a growing business.
For example, Whistling Straits golf course in Kohler, WI -- which has hosted such prestigious tournaments as the PGA Championship -- has a flock of sheep that grazes on the course grounds.
Information from: The Patriot-News, http://www.pennlive.com/patriotnews