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Harrison, Ark. Park Board hopeful to have fixed geese problem

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - With the help of a new deterrent spray, the city of Harrison is hopeful it has fixed the geese droppings problem at the city park.

The geese have been an issue at the Lake Harrison Park for several years. Following many complaints, and a new playground that was installed about a year ago, the Harrison Park Board is hopeful they’ve found a solution.

Every Tuesday Shae Lovelace and her mother enjoy lunch at the Lake Harrison Park. Cashew chicken is usually on the menu, and they’re typically joined by guests wanting a bite. There are signs up all around the playgrounds and walkways that say don’t feed the geese, but clearly not everyone follows that rule.

“Oh yeah, there’s people down here feeding them all the time. You can tell because they always come around you when you pull out food,” said Lovelace.

And while feeding isn’t the main issue, what comes after that is.

”I enjoy the ducks and geese themselves, but the droppings, just kind of annoying,” said Lovelace. “You really have to watch where you step and sometimes we have to bring a towel so we can sit down.”

”It’s been an issue with keeping the park clean,” said Harrison Park Board Superintendent Jerry Farmer. “And of course we’ve got our new playground equipment, new bathrooms and stuff here. And more peoples is coming. For several years it’s been an issue.”

It is an issue that Farmer is all too familiar.

“They eat a lot of grass, a normal Canadian geese eats about four pounds of grass a day,” said Farmer. “It can destroy your turf and your grass area. And of course if they eat four pounds they’re going to deposit about four pounds.”

Having been a problem, there’s been several tactics to try and resolve it. The park board used predator decoys, several deterrents, and even placed signs out asking visitors to not feed the geese. For a while a faith-based volunteer group helped remove the droppings, but a lot of responsibility has fallen on the park board to keep the playgrounds and walkways clear.

”It’s gotten to be a daily basis and is just creating extra work,” said Farmer.

But perhaps they’ve found a solution, a new waterproof, harmless spray to keep the geese from wanting to stay and feed.

”It will not bother the ducks, it only bothers the Canadian geese. And it makes the tummy a little upset,” said Farmer. “We sprayed the whole park last week, and now the whole park is really empty, there’s not a Canadian goose down here.

And Farmer is optimistic that it’ll be a permanent solution.

“Well hopefully, we don’t know, right now it looks really good,” said Farmer. “But we’re hopeful that it’ll take care of the situation.”

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