‘Goat Fund Me’: Victoria petting zoo hoping for help amid COVID-19

'Goat Fund Me': Victoria petting zoo hoping for help amid COVID-19
WatchA well-loved petting zoo in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park has suddenly been cut off of their only source of income amid COVID-19, just as a new generation of baby goats are being welcomed to the world.

As spring rolls around, so does new life.

But with it comes great responsibility especially in a pandemic.

“It’s totally unprecedented, I have no idea what’s going to happen,” said Lynda Koenders, operator at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.

Less than a week after the petting zoo opened as it usually does in March, it closed right back up because of COVID-19.

“I wasn’t expecting our 35th year was going to be like this, that’s for sure,” said Koenders.

For three and a half decades, this kid’s farm has been beloved by both tourists and locals alike. The small farm is home to alpacas, chickens, ducks, pigs, and of course, the goats – who right now, are giving birth.

But these baby goats, face an uncertain future.

“With the doors closed, there are no funds coming in so we decided to start a ‘goat fund me’,” said Koenders.

“We only started it last night and it’s been going gangbusters!”

They’re well over their $6,000 goal, but that’s the bare minimum to keep the farm afloat for just one month.

And as this pandemic stretches on, they may be in need of much more.

“I don’t think we’ll even be open in the summer,” said Koenders.

“I’m thinking we’ll probably be closed down now until next spring. Hopefully, we can get enough funds to keep everything going, and hopefully make it back for next year.”

And while the federal small business subsidy will help hire back employees they had previously let go, it won’t be enough.

With base operating costs at around $6,000/month, the farm will need to gather roughly $72,000 to ensure they can reopen next spring.

But the farm is hopeful, especially as their new generation of baby goats take their first wobbly steps.

And while the farm is closed, you can visit them virtually on the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm facebook page.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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