Canada Geese need a place to call home, children need safe places to play in our urban parks, and citizens want to enjoy our city green spaces without attack by aggressive geese. I believe we can have all three. Funds to enact an effective and humane goose mitigation strategy didn’t make it through the 2016 budget process. However, our staff heard citizen concerns about the growing number and adverse impact of geese in city parks, and they are moving forward with other initiatives. Council received the following update today from Martin Neumann, GM, Park Operations and Forestry:
“This note is to bring council up to date on our goose-related activities. It might be assumed by some constituents that the consequence of no funding in the 2016 budget for a goose management strategy would be zero goose-related action, but we are carrying on with the following initiatives.
- Staff have been collaborating since September with a group of five University of Guelph students who have taken on a goose management strategy for Guelph as a class project in a 4th year resource management course. This course spans the fall and spring semesters, and our work with them continues.
- As part of that collaboration, staff are meeting tomorrow with the students and some key stakeholders, to allow the stakeholders to share their ideas and concerns. The participants will be representing Animal Alliance, Humane Society, and Nature Guelph.
- Subsequent to that input, we plan to engage the broader community, via telephone survey, open house meeting(s), and possibly other avenues, to gauge community acceptance of, or resistance to, various candidate tactics that could be employed to reduce geese/human conflict. The telephone survey is to be undertaken by a specialist consultant, and the open house meeting(s) is/are to be organized by City staff.
- Based on what we learn from these initiatives, there may be a possibility of trying a tactic or two on a small scale this year, on a pilot project basis.”
Stay tuned, we will report again in the spring.