2,000 goats in town – 4th straight year for weed-eaters

       About 2,000 weed-eating goats returned to the Westside Nov 14.
       The herd is expected to stay until about the end of November, according to Karen Flitton Stith, board member of the Bear Creek Garden Association.
       It's the fourth straight year that the association, a nonprofit whose members work a 1-acre organic plot in El Paso County's Bear Creek West, has been able to raise the funds for the animals. The association, also responsible for 20 acres around the garden, prefers them to chemical sprays.
       Public support is requested to defray the several thousand dollars that the association has to spend. “Each year we put out an appeal to the public for donations to our goat fund,” Stiths said. “The grazing doesn't just benefit the 200 gardeners, it also benefits everyone who uses Bear Creek Park.”
       The animals are also seen as aids in fire mitigation. According to Rich Serby, who has led a group of private property owners near the Palmer Wildlife, Preserve (which has separately contracted for the goats the past two years), the grazing animals eat up “standing, dried vegetation that is fire tinder.”
       The herd comes from Lani Malmberg's ranch in Landers, Wyo.
       People are welcome to come and watch the herd eating. The Bear Creek Garden can be reached by turning at Creek Crossing (the first right from Rio Grande east of 21st Street).
       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