Weed-eating goats return to Bear Creek Park

Weed-eating cashmere goats graze at Bear Creek Regional Park Friday, October 18. / Mike Duran - FOX21 News

Weed-eating cashmere goats graze at Bear Creek Regional Park Friday, October 18, 2019. / Mike Duran – FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A herd of weed-eating goats is back to work at Bear Creek Park.

About 500 goats are at the park performing organic weed control. The goats arrived Thursday and will be at the park for 10 days. They are working on 20 acres surrounding the Charmaine Nymann Community Garden.

The nonprofit Bear Creek Garden Association has raised about $8,000 a year to bring the goats to the park each year for the past 21 years. The goats’ work means the gardeners don’t have to use weed-killing chemicals near the organic vegetable garden.

Goat Green co-owners Lani Malmberg and Donny Benz manage the herd.

“The goats prefer the dry vegetation first—leaves, weeds and brush,” Malmberg said in a statement. “They’re browsers, not grazers like cows, and will only eat the green grass as a last resort. They like the dry prickly things and the herd will eat two to three tons a day. What they eat, they recycle—pure organic fertilizer—back into the soil. Plus, their 2,000 hooves work the soil, aerating and mulching as they go.”

The county is reminding park visitors that dogs must be on leash and under control while in El Paso County parks, including Bear Creek. There have been a few altercations between dogs and the goats in the past.

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