Organic weed control to continue on 20 Bear Creek acres

       A new agreement with El Paso County continues a plan whereby the Bear Creek Gardens and a 20-acre adjacent area is weeded organically.
       The Gardens are located behind the County Parks building southwest of 21st and Rio Grande streets.
       As in the agreement that first took effect in the summer of 2004, the county will pay the Bear Creek Garden Association an amount equal to what it would cost to control state-identified noxious weeds with chemical sprays in its area ($745).
       In 2004, the association fund-raised to bring in goats to control the weeds - a contract which is more expensive than sprays. Last year, lacking such funds, association volunteers spent an estimated 300 hours pulling out weeds themselves.
       According to Garden Association spokesperson Char Nymann, the lack of rain has made the situation less urgent so far this year. “We're hoping to get the goats in, but there might not be anything they're able to do,” she said. “The growth is almost non-existent, and the weeds are kind of stunted.”
       The agreement, worked out with Parks staff, was made official by a vote of the county commissioners. “This is an excellent partnership between the gardeners and the county,” said Commissioner Chair Sallie Clark. “While we continue to explore possible outside funding sources that may eventually bring the goats back to the park, we have reached a cooperative solution that benefits both our citizens and the county.”

Westside Pioneer/press release