by Pam Zubeck
This week, the Board of County Commissioners decided the Bear Creek Gardens are a good deal and extended the county's facility and service agreement with the Bear Creek Garden Association.
A nonprofit group that has co-managed the Bear Creek Community Gardens since 1986, the association collaborates with county parks personnel to oversee a two-acre garden site at Bear Creek Regional Park.
Here's where citizens grow vegetables and plants for their personal use and to contribute to community outreach organizations such as Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, Marian House, Springs Rescue Mission, Silver Key Senior Services and the Colorado Springs Senior Home, among others.
In a press release, the county said:
After the BoCC approved the extended agreement with the Bear Creek Garden Association, Commissioner Peggy Littleton requested a presentation by Community Services Director Tim Wolken.
“This is the type of program that should be showcased as an example of citizens giving of their time, effort and skills to benefit many other citizens in El Paso County,” said Littleton. Mr. Wolken shared with the BoCC about the unique, efficient and effective partnership that the Parks Division has enjoyed with the Bear Creek Garden Association for the past quarter of a century. “Not only has the Association been great to work with from the standpoint of managing the Park’s gardening operations, they also have taken on the responsibility of weed control for the surrounding 20-acres of Park property,” Wolken said.
Commissioner Vice Chair Sallie Clark provided an example of the Association’s innovative weed mitigation efforts: “Years ago, this group spearheaded the initiative to bring the now-infamous ‘weed-eating’ goats to Bear Creek Regional Park, and they have successfully sustained that program through annual fundraisers with no cost to the County or our citizens,” Clark said.
The association is seeking a total of $5,000 in contributions to fund this year’s goat-powered weed and wildfire mitigation activities. Interested donors may also contact Nymann at the aforementioned number.