Mt. Vernon Register-News


July 16, 2014

Geese, ducks causing park problems

MT. VERNON — Where there is water there are ducks and geese and the problems associated with them, which has been brought to the attention of the Parks and Recreation Board.

“Councilman (David) Wood asked me to bring this to the board,” said Parks and Facilities Director George Bryant. “He wants us to gather information on ways to address the droppings connected with having geese and ducks.”

The geese and ducks at Veterans Park draw visitors to feed and watch them glide across the water. Bryant said the size of the flocks at the lake vary, with the most congregating at the park in the winter.

“We see significant increases in the winter time when they are migrating,” Bryant explained. “We’re probably talking hundreds in the winter time.”

And, while the ducks are fun to watch, Bryant said for those walking utilizing the multi-use trail, it can be a problem.

“We’ve used a high pressure sprayer with a large water truck that we have tried to clean the area as we have time available,” Bryant said. “We concentrate on the area on the west side of the lake near the parking lot.”

Parks and Recreation Board member Bernie Dickneite said he has received calls from walkers who consider the droppings a problem as well.

“It’s been a problem for years now,” said board member Jerry Harpole. “The sad part is that people think they’re tame, but they are wild geese. They are doing them a disservice to try to feed wild animals who need to learn to fend for themselves. I’ve been against the feeding at the lake, I believe it brings more of them and hurts the geese by trying to make them domestic.”

Bryant said the majority of ducks and geese at the lake are Canadian Geese and mallards which are federally protected — limiting what can be done to control the dirty problem.

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