SP officials encourage people to scare away geese - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SP officials encourage people to scare away geese

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

Many people come to Pfiffner-Pioneer Park in Stevens Point to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. But for some, the smells are getting to be a bit much.

"It can get really stinky out here," said Berkley Lake, who lives in Stevens Point.

Gaggles of geese have made themselves at home, grazing on grass and making a mess all over.

"We look at the ground and if we see some, we try to avoid it but sometimes we don't see it and then it gets on our shoes so we use sticks to try to get it off and rub it in the grass," said Lake.

An occasional summer shower could clear the trails, but this year's drought has made the situation worse.

"When you're walking you have to make sure you keep your eyes to the path so you don't step in geese droppings," said Patricia Gott, who live in Stevens Point.

After discussions with the DNR, Stevens Point parks director Tom Schrader said they got an idea: scaring the birds back into the water with plastic clappers. They said the DNR told them it's the safest way to deal with the geese.

"We're not looking to eliminate every goose or duck in the park," said Schrader. "It's just to get the mass numbers out and keep a reasonable number here for people to enjoy."

Schrader said volunteers are scouting the shores, hoping to bother the geese enough to make them want to leave. Many geese come back to shore even after being scared by the clappers. City leaders said it could take weeks before they learn to stay out.

Parks officials are also discouraging people from feeding the fowl, saying families can come together to chase geese instead.

"They can just clap their hands, jingle keys, just yell at them but the more people who come along here and shoo them back into the water, the better it's going to be for everybody," said Schrader.

Or at least a little less foul-smelling.

Schrader said the parks department got its clappers from the dollar store and anyone is welcome to go to the park and help scare away the geese.

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