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Goats return to Bear Creek Park amid county intent to control loose dogs

A goat stands high during the 2009 weed-eating visit by Lani Malmberg's herd from Wyoming.
Westside Pioneer file photo
Lani Malmberg and up to 500 of her weed-eating goats from Wyoming will make their annual fall visit to Bear Creek Regional Park.
       The herd is scheduled to arrive in Bear Creek Park East on September 26 and stay 10 days.
       The animals “will perform organic weed control in areas near the Bear Creek Community Gardens,” a press release states. “The goats eat about three percent of their body weight a day.”
       According to Malmberg, the goats generally leave green grass alone, preferring dry material such as weeds and brush. And their droppings put “pure organic fertilizer-back into the soil. Their 2,200 hooves work the soil, aerating and mulching as they go.”
       The volunteer Bear Creek Garden Association, which manages the Community Gardens in cooperation with El Paso County Parks, fundraises to bring in the goats.
       A problem last year was loose dogs in the park, which led Malmberg to depart a week earlier than planned (although she and her goats did stay in town a while, tending to weed-eating contracts on private land elsewhere in the area).
       The press release quotes Brad Bixler, County Parks' operations manager, asking people to “remember that dogs must be under control while in Bear Creek Regional Park… Dog owners are reminded that the rules will be strictly enforced for the safety of the goats and park visitors.”
       Donations to the Bear Creek Garden Association Goat Fund are tax-deductible and may be sent to P.O. Box 38326, Colorado Springs, CO 80937-8326.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 9/23/16; Outdoors: City/County Parks)

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