ORGANIC GARDEN PLOTS

The plot fees are $120 for a full-size plot (20 feet x 40 feet) and $75 for a half-size plot ( 20 feet x 20 feet).  This fee includes the tilling of the entire garden in the early spring, the cost of water for the entire gardening season, and all other repair, maintenance and clerical expenses.

First time gardeners are charged a $25 clean-up deposit.  The deposit is refunded if the plot is cleaned off at the end of the gardening season.

Located on two acres in Bear Creek Park, the garden consists of 104 full size plots.  The garden is surrounded by a five-foot high fence with seven gates.  An underground network of water pipes delivers city water to faucets located adjacent to each group of four plots.

Gardening GUIDELINEs

In Cooperation with El Paso County Parks, BCGA has established rules and guidelines for each gardener to follow.  Click Bear Creek Garden Association Rules to download and print for your reference.

Required Forms

Application:  Interested in renting a plot?  Applications are available by calling Karen at (719) 634-4433 or John at (719) 576-2664.

Unconditional Release:  Each gardener must include a signed and notarized Unconditional Release Form with their application to be filed with BCGA. Click Unconditional Release, Charmaine Nymann Community Garden to download and print.

Motorized Equipment Release:  Gardeners who wish to use tillers or other motorized equipment in the garden must have a signed and notarized Tiller Release form on file with BCGA prior to using the equipment. Click RELEASE FROM LIABILITY MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT to download and print.

Please notify Karen at (719) 634-4433 or John at (719) 576-2664 when:

  • You will be gone more than 2 weeks
  • You have to give up gardening and abandon your plot
  • You need advice for weed or bug control
  • You plan to use power equipment
  • You find a leak in the water system
  • The gates have been left unlocked
  • You need a new key or badge
  • You will not be able to meet your agreed to volunteer time and need to re-schedule
  • You see a job in the garden that you are qualified to help with!

Contact the Colorado Springs Police Department (444-7000 or 911):

if you see anything that is dangerous or threatening to you in the park. We encourage you to work in the garden only when another gardener is present and only during daylight hours.

Calendar

Annual dates for classes, opening and closing days, work days, and other events are posted on an Annual Calendar for your reference.

EDUCATION

Each year beginning the gardening season, experienced gardeners from the Bear Creek Garden Association conduct an Organic Vegetable Gardening class at the Bear Creek Nature Center, located at 245 Bear Creek Road.  Registration begins the end of February.  Contact www.elpasocountynaturecenters.com or call 520-6387. 

To kick off the gardening season, BCGA conducts in mid April an orientation for new and returning gardeners.  This event is held in the Creekside Room at the Parks Building, 2002 Creek Crossing (adjacent to the garden). New gardeners will receive a copy of the Bear Creek Garden Association Handbook. Official opening day for the garden is late April.

Click Colorado State University Extension website for a wealth of information about planting and garden care:

  • Soil Amendments
  • Growing plants from seed.
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Onion Leaf Blight
  • Tomato problems
  • And much much more!

VOLUNTEER HOURS

Charmaine Nymann Community Gardeners are required to do a minimum of four hours of volunteer work per gardening season. The volunteer tasks involved include helping to stake out the garden in the spring, caring for donation plots, cleaning up neglected or vacantplots,  mowing around the perimeter of the fence, repairs, maintaining flower beds on the island, fundraising and other manual labor or clerical tasks. Gardeners sign up for various tasks when they pick up their keys and badges at the time the garden opens.
If you would particularly enjoy helping to take care of one of the 5 donation plots, please make this known early in the gardening year by contacting Karen at (719) 634-4433 or John at (719) 576-2664. 

PLOT CLEANUP

The entire garden must be down to bare dirt by 4 PM on closing day which is mid October. You are responsible for your plot and also for the aisles around your plot. If you wish, you may use a rototiller to till in your vegetable residue and straw, which is beneficial for the soil. Please remove all cornstalks, vines and heavy roots, such as broccoli or corn roots, from your plot before tilling it.  

ROTOTILLERS

Rototillers will be provided on the final weekend on a first come first serve starting at 8:30 am.  Gardeners may till their plots if they wish to do so. There is no charge for using a rototiller, but each gardener must have a signed, notarized motorized equipment release form on file with the BCGA.

Gardening Tools

Please do not leave tools or equipment overnight, as this violates our agreement with the El Paso County Parks Department. Hoses and one watering can may be stored neatly on individual plots for the entire gardening season.  

WORKDAYS

Occasional workdays, supervised by Board members, will be scheduled during the gardening season.
These organized workdays are particularly good times for gardeners to complete their 4 hour minimum volunteer work effort. 

GARDEN MIX

Each fall before the garden closes, the BCGA solicits orders from gardeners planning to return for the following season for a special blend of compost and manure garden mix to be applied in the fall as a soil amendment. One cubic yard per full-sized plot is recommended.  Only those gardeners who’ve ordered and paid for their garden mix before the delivery date are permitted to spread it on their plots.   Measuring garden mix:  a couple of buckets will be set by the pile of garden mix, just inside the truck gate.  Forty level buckets of garden mix equal 1 cubic yard.  Gardeners should be sure to take only the amount that they ordered.  

DUMPSTERS

Two dumpsters will be provided just before Labor Day.  They will be located in the north parking lot near the two main gates. These are explicitly for the refuse you remove from your plot. When a dumpster is full, do not pile refuse around it; the trash removal company will not pick up refuse on the ground. Instead, consider bagging your refuse, keeping it on your plot until the dumpsters have been emptied and then put it in. The dumpsters will continue to be available through closing day, but it is wise to get your plot cleaned early and your refuse into an available dumpster, as things tend to get backed up that last weekend.

GARDEN LOCKED FOR WINTER

The garden gates will be locked with “winter locks” after the closing day. Your padlock key will not work in these locks. You may dispose of your key, as new locks and keys are purchased each spring.