Canton Parks Continues Goose Reduction Efforts
Bailey on goose patrol
February 27, 2015 - As Spring has begun to emerge, the annual problem of geese overpopulation becomes more noticeable to the citizens using Canton Park facilities. In a continued effort to reduce the goose population and the negative impact they have on the parks, the Canton Park administration is taking this opportunity to let the community know the actions they are taking to address this ongoing problem.
Park employees have begun utilizing special goose patrols with the help of their personal dogs. By implementing these patrols randomly but continuously, the dogs instinctively chase the geese and drive them away from the park property. Mylar bird scare ribbon is also being utilized in many of our parks to act as a visual deterrent. The laser light system will be reinstalled in Westbrook and Stadium Park ponds which alters the sleep schedules of the geese to encourage them to relocate. These same ponds, along with Monument Park, have had additional fountains installed, which improved circulation, reduced unwanted pond growth, and deter the goose population. Canton Parks also successfully applied, and will administer an egg shaking permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODW) this Spring to reduce the number of new nests in the parks.
Given the waterways and open green space in our larger parks, the ODW has informed us that geese will inherently and continuously be drawn to our parks. This problem is not unique to Canton, as parks, golf courses, and private property owners across the country struggle with these same issues. Our goal is not to eliminate these geese, but to encourage them to relocate to a more passive space, and reduce the negative impact they have in our active park areas.
Canada Geese are afforded protection under the Federal Migratory Game Bird Act. Any lethal population control outside of the regular Ohio Hunting season requires a permit which is regulated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Ohio currently offers a 60-day regular Goose hunting season as well as a 15-day early goose season in September which is designed specifically toward reducing the number of resident, nuisance geese. Unfortunately, many of our geese do not actually migrate and have inhabited our parks for years, but they are still protected by this law. We have been informed by ODW that we will must continue to apply these reduction tactics before a permit will be granted to remove the geese from the parks.
This year, we will add two additional measures. The staff will use pyrotechnic scare devices beginning Monday, March 2nd. We will also be working with a local contractor with a spray deterrent, Flight Control, in high concentration areas.
One way park patrons can help our efforts is to stop feeding the geese. We are working hard to address this issue, but feeding the geese encourages them to stay in the park and undermines reduction efforts. While the goslings are cute and it may seem helpful to feed them, it is dangerous for the animal and the patron. It also fuels the unpleasant problem of goose droppings within our active park facilities. We have installed newer, bolder signage reminding patrons not to feed the geese, and will continue issuing warnings to park patrons engaging in this practice.
The Park Office will be posting updates of our goose control program on our webpage www.cantonohio.gov/parks and the Canton Parks Facebook page. We also encourage our patrons to contact our office directly (330) 489-3015, or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns regarding geese or other park matters. We ask for your continued patience and support.
Canton Parks Director, Derek Gordon and Archie conducting a routine goose patrol