No weed-eating goats in ‘08
Garden Association fundraising for ‘09 includes cornstalks this weekend

       Disappointed at being unable to afford weed-eating goats this year, the Bear Creek Garden Association has begun gearing its fundraising for '09.
       This weekend, people can buy decorative organic cornstalks and thus help bring back the goats next spring, according to association President Char Nymann of the Bear Creek Garden Association.
       The stalks, pulled from the garden, will be available for $5 a bundle between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19.
       The Bear Creek Garden is in Bear Creek Park off Rio Grande Street; take the first park access east of 21st Street and follow it past the County Parks administration office building.
       The goats cost more than $5,000 each time a herd is trucked in. But their natural control of noxious weeds is considered an essential part of the organic treatment on the 19 acres of County Park land around the garden for which the association is responsible.
       The goal had been to contract with a goat-herder at least once a year for three years running, with the idea that the noxious weeds - which must be controlled on public land by state law - would be virtually eliminated as a result.
       All had looked good after a $10,000 grant allowed the bearded gobblers to come twice in 2007. But because the animals could not be brought in this year - two small grants and various donations were not enough - next spring is very key, Nymann said.
       “We need the goats in the spring, or we'll probably lose the grazing we had,” she said. “That's why we're working really, really hard on that.”
       Other fundraising channels are the “We Love Goats” campaign, which accepts donations from as low as $5 up to special “support levels” between $50 and $500; and sales of the children's book, “Sarge” (named for a former lead weed-eating goat who was part of herds here up until 2003). Part of the story tells how Sarge “saved a whole herd from flood and storm,” Nymann said.
       Donations can be mailed to: BCGA, P.O. Box 38326, Colorado Springs 80937-8326. For more information, call Nymann at 473-5827.

Westside Pioneer/press release