SP park officials use lasers to scare geese - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SP park officials use lasers to scare geese


Gaggles of geese are still making messes in a Stevens Point park. City leaders are finding new ways to keep them away from the shore.

Ducks are welcome guests at Pfiffner-Pioneer Park. But the geese are not.

"They go to the bathroom here and it's smelly," said Nicci Cardenas, who volunteers to help scare geese away.

The fowl-smelling foul are getting shooed away from shore.

"Oh yeah. They're giving me the looks. They definitely know I'm around to scare them away," said Randy Schick, who is another volunteer.

Last week, volunteers started spooking the birds with dollar store clappers.

"They know when I'm coming," said Sarah Yetter, who started volunteering with the clappers last week. "They see that clapper. They have attitude. There's a couple of them that hiss at you."

"They always get scared and they run in the water," said Cardenas. "Some fly or glide."

Park officials said people from the city have called with more ideas. So this week -- a new plan.

"Lasers," said Stevens Point parks director Tom Schrader.

Schrader said the early bird gets the geese.

"I had a gentleman call me and he said where he worked at the golf course, they used a green laser pointer at dusk and dawn to scare the geese away," said Schrader.

Wisconsin DNR leaders said they've seen scores of scare tactics to keep birds at bay. And laser pointers are on the list.

"I haven't seen anyone use it personally but I know it's out there and it has been used particularly at night to disperse the geese," said DNR migratory game bird ecologist Kent Van Horn.

"I don't think we want to get into culling or round-ups," said Schrader. "I think what we're doing now with the clappers and hopefully the laser, we can solve the problem we have in a very humane way."

"After almost a week, they're kind of diminishing," said Yetter. "They're going back in the water."

State bird experts said geese are grazers -- like cows -- which is why they're attracted to the green grass. And with water close by, the park is goose heaven.

"Sure you can move them off into the water for a short period of time but they're grazers and they'll return to the grass eventually," said Van Horn.

But city leaders said that won't stop them from trying.

"I think people are having fun with this whole thing because they realize it is a problem when you walk through the grass," said Schrader.

Volunteers said so far, they think it's working. But some said they think the geese may just be going to another park in the city.

Another contributing factor to this issue -- the lack of rain, which would help wash away the messes the geese leave behind. People in Stevens Point said they're crossing their fingers for rain this weekend.

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