Visit the Sheep

The sheep of Fort Saskatchewan have been delighting visitors and keeping the grass trim in City parks for 28 years. If ewe haven't already heard, Fort Saskatchewan uses the flock as an eco-friendly way of looking after the parks.

The sheep are a delight to residents and visitors. It's quite the sight to see a shepherd and sheepdogs in the city, herding the flock of 50 warm, friendly, and fuzzy sheep.

So Long and Thanks for All the Sheep

For twenty-eight years, Kathy and Ralph Playdon’s flock of Finnsheep have been an essential part of a Fort Saskatchewan summer. The Playdons are retiring as the City’s Sheep Grazing Program contractors in September and will be greatly missed by residents and tourists alike.

The City will be holding a celebration for the Playdons in the fall to thank them for their role in developing the Sheep Grazing Program and being an important part of making our community a great place to live and visit.

The Sheep Grazing Program will be back for Summer 2021!

We need to find our next woolly ambassadors, friendly working dogs and caring shepherds for the 2021 season. Interested in becoming the next shepherd or know someone who would be a great fit?

Download our Sheep Grazing Program RFP

You can also view the Sheep Grazing Program RFP on Bonfire.

When are the sheep around?

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Sheep Grazing Program will begin on Tuesday, July 7 and run until Friday, September 4, 2020.

Visiting hours for 2020 will be Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30am to 6:00pm.

On Tuesday mornings, the sheep walk from their off-duty pasture to the Fort Heritage Precinct (10006 – 100 Avenue). Moseying along the trail is one of their favourite things to do, so they often do not arrive until around 1:00pm.

On Friday evenings, the sheep are walked back to their off-duty pasture. They leave the Fort Heritage Precinct at around 5:30pm in order to make it home on time.

Sheep Grazing Map

Visiting Guidelines – Tips to ensure your visit is woolly great!

COVID-19 Procedures

The Sheep Grazing Program provides an opportunity for individuals to interact with the sheep, shepherds, and sheepdogs in a natural setting. To ensure everyone's safety, please follow the procedures below and on the signage placed at the main Sheep Grazing Program parking lot (located next to the Warden's Residence):

  • No more than 50 visitors can interact with the flock at one time.
  • Visitors are to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before interacting with sheep, shepherds and sheepdogs.
  • Visitors are asked to wash their hands before visiting the sheep and directly afterwards. Washrooms are available at the Fort Heritage Precinct and are cleaned twice a day by custodial staff.
  • Visitors are asked to cleanse their hands with alcohol based rub hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content* prior to, during, and after interacting with the sheep and sheepdogs. Hand sanitizer is available at the main Sheep Grazing Program parking lot.
  • All individuals must maintain 2m physical distancing from the shepherds and other visitors that are not part of their cohort family.
  • Infants and children are to remain with their parents or guardians at all times.

* Sanitizing solution with a minimum of 60% alcohol content is capable of disinfecting COVID-19

Sheep Parades

The Return of the Sheep and Sheep Leaving parades have both been cancelled for 2020.

Goats as Weed Management

You may see goats at West River’s Edge (WRE). They’re being used as a safe environmentally friendly alternative to weed management. They’ll cover up to 96 hectares and will treat effected areas up to three times over the summer and fall.

Please be advised:

  • These are working animals, at no time is the public permitted to interact or pet the goats
  • Signs will be posted informing the public of the work area for the day
  • Two shepherds will be monitoring and herding the goats to effected areas

We urge Fort Saskatchewan residents, and visitors, to please respect the posted work signs and give the goats and shepherds room to work.

Learn more about goats and weed management

For more information, please call 780-992-6576.