DO NOT FEED THE GEESE. Feeding the geese is harmful to their health, discourages them from migrating and creates overpopulation in the parks.
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.
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.