As part of its ongoing efforts to find green solutions to common challenges, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has brought 100 grazing sheep to airport-owned land on Riverdale Road.

The test program, coordinated with Trees Atlanta and funded by an anonymous donor, is designed to bring vegetation on the one-acre plot under control without the use of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. The pilot program began Monday and will run through the week.

“We are constantly thinking of innovative ways to make the Airport more efficient, and we are eager to determine whether sheep grazing will be an effective tool to maintain the Airport’s landscape,” said Aviation General Manager Louis Miller.

The Airport owns and maintains more than 4,000 acres of land.

Trees Atlanta, which recently sponsored a similar sheep grazing event at Chastain Park,  has found that sheep and goats can control invasive species in an eco-friendly manner.

“Trees Atlanta is pleased that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is considering a vegetation-removal method that does not require pesticides or fossil fuels,” said Greg Levine, co-executive director of Trees Atlanta. “We applaud this forward-thinking approach from a large Atlanta entity and are happy to give the sheep a vacation from their Trees Atlanta work so they can be part of the effort. The results we’ve seen from sheep grazing on acres of invasive plants in local Atlanta green spaces indicate that this pilot should be successful.”

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