Jump to the main section.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_1.jpg
The stand of invasive plants the sheep were camped out in near Livingston Ave.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_2.jpg
The stand of plants is surrounded by a snow fence, and then inside that perimeter there's a solar-powered electric fence to keep the sheep focused in one area.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_3.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_4.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_5.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_6.jpg
Fleet stretching his legs. He's still not enthusiastic about having his picture taken.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_7.jpg
Grazing in the grassy area near the Judson Street parking lot.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_8.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_9.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_10.jpg
Fleet leads the way back to the overnight home for the sheep.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_11.jpg
An old baseball field has been entirely fenced in to provide enclosure for the sheep and chickens and other farm activities.

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_12.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_13.jpg

Tivoli_Preserve_Community_Farm_sheep_14.jpg
Fleet getting some love -- and grudgingly allowing his picture to be taken.

Checking in on the Tivoli Preserve Community Farm sheep

Tivoli Preserve Community Farm sheep grazing

Yep, this is the city of Albany.

Among the newest residents of Albany's Tivoli Lake Preserve: sheep.

The small flock is there now as part of the Tivoli Preserve Community Farm project. The goal is to build a working farm and community programs in the park on the north side of Albany -- and there's been a lot of progress in recent months.

"It's just moving really quickly with help now," said Melissa Parade, the founder of the farm project, when we stopped by last week. "It feels really good."

Here's some quick follow-up on what's happening. And a lot of sheep pics.

Pics

There are a bunch of photos at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

The farm project

Tivoli Community Farm shed

The Tivoli Preserve Community Farm project has been in the works for more than a year. (You might remember Melissa Parade's spot in the finals of last year's AOA Startup Grant.) And it has a few different elements:

+ Rotating sheep through the preserve to graze on invasive species and help improve the land.

+ A flock of chickens for egg laying.

+ Composting.

+ Community outreach and educational programs.

+ And, planned for next year, the planting of crops and a community garden.

Parade's been putting the pieces of the project together bit by bit over the last year. The project -- now officially the Tivoli Preserve Community Farm -- took a big step at the end of July when the sheep and chickens moved over to Tivoli from the city's Normanskill Farm. And Parade now has a group of volunteers working with her. One of the goals for this past weekend: building a chicken coop.

The sheep

Tivoli Community Farm sheep walking

Of course, the thing that will probably catch most people's attention is the sheep. When we stopped in last week, the small flock was slowly working its way through a stand of phragmites, an invasive plant, about 50 yards from the preserve's Livingston Ave entrance. (The city water department has done something similar with goats at the Loudonville reservoir.)

Parade said the sheep have already drawn a bunch of curious people from the neighborhood.

"They're mostly like, what?! Are those sheep?" she said. "Everyone's been very welcoming."

The sheep spend the night at a fenced-in former baseball diamond on the preserve's eastern edge, behind the former Philip Livingston School building that's been converted to apartments for seniors. There's a small shed there where the sheep sleep, along with the chickens, and a handful of composting bins.

Parade moves them around the preserve with help of her border collie, Fleet.

The sheep will at the preserve until late fall. Parade said it depends on the weather. She'll be moving the sheep back to the Normanskill Farm -- and its much bigger barn and hay storage -- when the cold and snow of winter kick in.

Also this fall: Parade will be selling lambs for meat. If you're interested in buying a whole animal -- maybe for a restaurant or your freezer -- contact her at tivolishepherd@gmail.com for details about placing an order.

Visiting and volunteering

If you'd like to see the sheep and find out what's up with the Tivoli Preserve Community Farm, Melissa Parade will soon be starting Monday evening sessions in which people can drop by. She'll be in the Judson Street parking lot (on Livingston Ave) from 4-6 pm so people can see the sheep and ask questions. (Keep an eye on the project's Facebook page.)

And if you're interested in volunteering, she says they welcome all sorts help -- whether it's with animal care, or work days, or gardening projects. Email tivolivolunteers@gmail.com to get in touch.

Earlier

+ Follow up: Farm on Peaceable Pastures

+ The future of the Tivoli Lake Preserve

Find It

Tivoli Preserve Community Farm
Tivoli Lake Preserve
Albany, NY 12206

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Approval for another large residential project in downtown Albany that could be the first of many notable projects, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

A row of buildings gone, except for one

A follow up of sorts about the old, beautiful Mechanics and Farmers Bank building at the corner of State and James in downtown Albany and... (more)

BUILT 2018 call for entries

This year's Historic Albany Foundation BUILT event -- "Albany's Architecture through Artists' Eyes" -- will be at the State Museum November 3. The annual fundraiser... (more)

"Gambling was the bedrock of every day of our lives growing up in Schenectady"

At the center of this Ringer profile of new Monday Night Football play-by-play man Joe Tessitore is an account of his childhood in/around Schenectady and... (more)

The Breeders at Upstate Concert Hall

Catching up a bit: The Breeders are set to play Upstate Concert Hall October 28. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $30 ahead /... (more)

Recent Comments

Who would have thought that the way to finally get Exit 3 made after 30+ years was to just name it 'Exit 4 II: The Other Exit 4'.

A row of buildings gone, except for one

...has 2 comments, most recently from Greg

BUILT 2018 call for entries

...has 1 comment, most recently from Pamela Howard

Debbie's Kitchen is returning (with Debbie)

...has 9 comments, most recently from BS

Morning Blend for Aug 17

...has 1 comment, most recently from ethan

The Movies Under the Stars series returns to Albany this summer

...has 3 comments, most recently from Elena