I optimistically blogged about the Canada geese (AKA ‘sky carp’ or ‘flying rats’) in Ames Park last December: The sky carp problem in Ames Park: the City’s tactics appear to be working.
And then in April, I took this photo of workers removing the fencing along the west side of the Cannon River in Ames Park. I sent this email to City Engineer Katy Gehler-Hess:
Hi Katy, I see the fencing along the Cannon River downtown was removed this morning. The plantings didn’t grow? What’s plan B??
I never got a reply but she evidently forwarded my email to Street/Park Supervisor T.J. Heinricy who wrote:
The fence in Ames park was removed per the recommendation of Bonestroo Inc. They were the contractor hired to do the install. I asked them this Spring about the fence removal. The gentleman that did the install did a very detailed inspection. The planting’s are doing just fine and are thriving. That was their assessment.
Alas, the problem is now worse than ever.
I took these photos last night. The geese use the canoe ramps and the bank next to the Ames Mill fence that’s not city property to enter and exit the river. And the plantings are NOT thriving everywhere as Bonestroo contended. There are many spots that look like this:
City Administrator Joel Walinski said it will take time to see the full effect of the new shoreline, which looks much better than it did two years ago, he said.
I’m extremely doubtful that the current solution will work in two years. The Nfld News editorial mentioned using dogs, specifically Border Collies. Lots of businesses doing this (example, here) and even the Coalition to Prevent the Destruction of Canada Geese recommends using Border Collies:
Border Collies (BC) are specially trained herding dogs that are extremely effective for keeping geese out of areas where they are considered a problem. Border collies are the method of choice for large open areas such as golf courses, airports, parks, school ground recreation fields, corporate parks, etc.
Results are immediate. Usually requires aggressive initial use (several times a day for 1-2 weeks) until geese get tired of being hassled and stay away. While the wolf-like gaze of Border Collies is incredibly frightening to geese, these dogs will not harm them or children.
Tearing down the Ames Mill dam might solve the problem but that project appears to be stalled.
So why not get/rent a Border Collie and solve the problem NOW, before DJJD? Couldn’t the Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) could take the lead on this initiative?
Update 7/16 8:30 am: Geese feces on the Mill Towns Trail between Riverside Park and Babcock Park:
Update 7/18 7:15 am: Geese feces on the Sesquincentennial Plaza: