Fort Saskatchewan's famed flock of sheep marks milestone
'People love them': 25 years of woolly weed wackers at the Fort Heritage Precinct
It started, as most things do, as a pilot project, back in the summer of 1992 as something called the alternative turf maintenance program.
Now, 25 years later, the ewes are the signature tourism draw, synonymous with the city 25 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
"They're here because the people love them," explains Diane Yanch, culture director with the City of Fort Saskatchewan.
But Yanch is hoping the sheep are enough of a draw to entice people to spend some time roaming the rest of the site.
"This place was built so we could tell the history of Fort Saskatchewan and how it began with the North West Mounted Police," she said.
The fort is a replica of the original outpost which dates back to 1875.
In 1913, the North West Mounted Police closed the fort and the province used the site to build a jail where prisoners did farmwork, made uniforms, or printed license plates.
"I think one thing that most people find fascinating is that there were executions held in Fort Saskatchewan," said Yanch.
Thirty-four people were hanged from 1879 to 1960.
The jail closed in the late 1980s eventually making way for the Fort Heritage Precinct and the sheep.