Originally posted Oct 29, 2014 / Colorado Springs Gazette / Website: https://www.coloradosprings.com/news/photos-bear-creek-park-gets-its-goats/article_7d14d25b-93e4-5446-b515-08805da64db6.html
About 550 goats will be feeding at Bear Creek Regional Park for the next few weeks.
The goats from Goat Green, and herded by Lani Malmberg, eat through about three tons of grass every day.
“The goats prefer the dry vegetation first—leaves, weeds, and brush,” said Malmberg. “They’re browsers, not grazers like cows, and will only eat the green grass if forced to. They like the dry prickly things.”
The herd is made up of Cashmere goats, which eat about three percent of their body weight a day in weeds and brush. “What they eat, they recycle—pure organic fertilizer—back into the soil,” Malmberg said. “Their 2,200 hooves work the soil, aerating and mulching as they go.”
The non-profit Bear Creek Garden Association, which manages the El Paso County Community Gardens site, raises between $7,000 and $10,000 each year to pay for the services provided by the goats. The goats are a natural way to remove noxious weeds in the 20 acres around the garden.
“We’re grateful for the continued support of the Bear Creek Garden Association to return the Cashmere goats to the Park, continuing efforts to provide an environmental asset and organic weed control to the County,” said Commissioner Sallie Clark, whose district includes Bear Creek Regional Park. “The goats’ appetite for noxious weeds around the community garden and the local attraction they bring to Bear Creek Regional Park brings great value to our region.”