Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan, is set to welcome a new sort of visitor this week: Thirty sheep will be making their home in the park in a 40-foot-by-40-foot, plexiglass-enclosed area where they will be able to roam and munch on the grass.
The sheep are being brought into the park from an upstate farm on September 27 as part of a promotional event for The Campaign for Wool, an effort launched by the Prince of Wales to help boost the wood industry.
As part of the event, called “Wool Uncovered,” organizers will drain the Bryant Park Fountain in order to fill it with wool. There will also be an exhibition of wool carpeting and a wool bed. The festivities mark the inaugural launch of the campaign in the United States.
Manhattan’s Community Board Five voted unanimously to approve the plan. Wally Rubin, is CB5’s district manager. He says the board is “delighted” with the event.
“To bring sheep into the park for one day! It’s just a lot of fun.” Rubin says. “You know it’s not something that you encounter in Manhattan very often, outside of the Central Park Zoo. So the idea, the dissonance of having sheep in midtown, it’s a lot of fun.”
He says while the board is wary of events that they feel could commercialize of the park, they felt strongly that this event would draw people in.
Sabrina Lynch, with Mission Public Relations, the firm handling the event, says that other attractions will include seats in the park covered with wool cushions and trees adorned with “wool art” – art made from wool felt, in neon colors.
But she agrees the sight of sheep in the park will be the big draw.
“I’m sure that’s something that doesn’t happen quite frequently in New York City, to see sheep grazing in the middle of a park.”