Sheep are returning to Sacramento parks. Here’s why and where

Ewe herd it here first. Sheep are back in North Natomas.

For the last two years, grazing animals have made appearances at many Sacramento parks as part of the Department of Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment’s (YPCE) grazing program.

The animals began filtering into North Natomas Regional Park early last week. Their presence at the 212-acre park will help sustainably reduce fire risk.

“The sheep are one of our greatest assets as they’re able to get into areas that would be difficult for a machine like a mower to access,” said Shawn Aylesworth, the City’s park maintenance manager. “We maintain many open spaces across Sacramento and the animals are a sustainable way to reduce fire fuels.”

Staff estimate there are about 800 sheep at the park where they will have a 30-40 day graze. The City contracts with local ranching companies for the animals.

The animals will then be transported to Del Paso Regional Park in mid to late May for another 30-40 day graze. Goats and sheep will also be utilized at other City parks including Chorley Park, Chicory Bend Park and the North Laguna Creek Wildlife Area.

The site at North Natomas Regional Park is monitored 24-hours a day. Visitors are welcome to come see the animals as they graze but are asked to not disturb them.

Areas of the park will be intermittently closed as the animals work.