City Council considers funding of geese park

IMG_5700.JPGAt last night’s Northfield City Council meeting, funding for a Canada Geese park at Riverside Lions Park received preliminary support from the Council. Rick Estenson and Rich Lorang, two of the key figures behind the recent creation of a dog park by the group Canines at Play, brought the proposal to the council after it received endorsement from the Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) last week.

Speaking on behalf of the newly-formed Operation Goose Bump citizens group, and quoting from a recent magazine article, Lorang said:

The birds, once considered charming, have become to many people noisy, fat, nasty things that foul ponds and manicured lawns with large, liquid droppings and shed feathers. And they won’t leave. They don’t mix with migratory flocks that stop over twice each year on their way north or south. The two populations, genetically identical, refuse to interbreed.

The group’s proposed solution is to form an alliance with Canines at Play and organize hunting parties in which dogs from the Babcock Park area would be unleashed on the geese on the other side of Hwy 3 in Riverside Park.

Funding is needed to deploy an electric dome (similar to an electric fence) which would prevent the geese from flying away when the dogs attacked. “We need to level the playing field,” said Estenson. “And without a negative experience, the geese will keep returning, eventually contaminating the entire Village on the Cannon development where my mother Evelyn lives, driving down her property values as well as those of her neighbors.” If its going to be too expensive then we are looking to build a normal fence. Everyone who are looking to build fence themselves I recommend to read AAA Fence Master – News.

Asked by Councilor Kris Vohs to define what he meant by a “negative experience” for the geese, Estenson declined to provide graphic details except to say that “we’ve initiated discussions with both the food shelf and Waste Management.”

The measure received unanimous support from the Council, though it did not contain specific funding amounts and the 2007 budget has already been set. Estenson suggested that the electric dome be funded with profits from cigarettes currently sold by the City’s Municipal Liquor Store. “We don’t seem to have a problem with having our employees help kill our citizens with nicotine so why would we have a problem with having our citizens help kill our geese with dogs?”


  1. Nick Benson said:

    “We don’t seem to have a problem with having our employees help kill our citizens with nicotine so why would we have a problem with having our citizens help kill our geese with dogs?”

    I cannot wait to get back to Northfield for Christmas. Thank you for posting this Griff!

    December 19, 2006
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re welcome, Nick. Be sure to bring your family dog to town for some, um, nutritious exercise.

    December 19, 2006
  3. Those poor dogs don’t stand a chance! The geese will dispatch anything smaller than a spaniel with one snap of the beak; bigger dogs will be gang-pecked until they expire or retire.

    I won’t be there for the opening of the park, but maybe, Griff, you could get some video? Post it on the blog!

    December 19, 2006
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    I definitely will, Christopher. But your prediction is troublesome to hear. Have you any scientific proof that your scenario could actually occur? If so, this could save us taxpayers a goodly sum.

    December 19, 2006
  5. Curt Benson said:

    Griff, after the geese are eliminated, will you consider combining the proposed skate board park with the dog park? You may be able to fund it with an admission charge for spectators.

    December 19, 2006
  6. Tracy Davis said:

    Maybe there’s a use for the viscous material the geese leave behind – bioshitzel? We could build a big plant on the outskirts of the community and apply for federal grants and subsidies. Of course, the noise and traffic of more geese could be a problem.

    December 19, 2006
  7. Bill Ostrem said:

    Do I understand correctly that the dogs will be killing the geese? Animal rights people will be camped out here regularly to protest, won’t they? Why not just have the dogs scare the geese away?

    Please help me if this is all just satire and I’m missing the joke.

    December 20, 2006
  8. Bruce Anderson said:

    These guys are geniuses! My Avon Terrier Angus and have loved the dog park, and I’ve thought for years that some kind of sporting harvest of these pesky urban geese would be a social positive.

    A couple of suggestions I’d add:
    1. That bow-hunting be allowed along with unleashing the dogs on the geese. I’ve been toying with the idea of bow-hunting myself for years, and I’d love to be able to bag a fat Christmas goose myself. Of course, as a beginner, I might bag a nice Labradoodle instead of a goose, but, hey, dogs are tasty, too, I hear.

    2. A goose-poop (and dog-poop)-powered methane digester to power a generator for the electric dome, with excess electricity used to heat stadium seating for spectators.

    December 20, 2006
  9. I think Bruce is helping Bill out, but I wanted to add a second thought of my own: I’m not willing to support this idea until and unless there’s an equal-opportunity park for cats. Do we have a chickadee-infested park anywhere?

    December 20, 2006
  10. Bill Ostrem said:

    I propose the following:

    that we re-name the park Abattoir Park;
    open it up to bow-hunting also, as Bruce suggests;
    allow people to bring in any old varmint that they want to dispose of;
    allow kids to rent bows and arrows on site;
    and then let the kids and dogs go crazy.

    December 20, 2006
  11. George Kinney said:

    As the owner of a 10.5 pound Bichon, I’m not bringing her down to get attacked, but I’m all for putting the skateboarders up against the geese. How about skateboarders with lances doing a bit of jousting with the pesky Branta canadensis?

    December 20, 2006

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