The Wheaton Park District has a management program in place that complies with all federal regulations for protection of Canada Geese which are protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The park district, like homeowners and other governmental agencies can only follow recommended programs set by the federal agencies. The following practices for reducing the goose population have been implemented and are followed regularly.
- Each year the park district applies for and receives a permit from the IL Dept. of Natural Resources Urban Waterfowl division which allows us to render the eggs non-productive and prevent re-nesting. This is done in the early spring when the females begin building nests. Each site within the park district is monitored and when nests are found they are taken care of properly.
- The park district has made a commitment to sweep the parks where geese are a problem. We have a sweeper that goes around to many of our parks that have water sources as well as other areas where geese are a daily problem. This sweeper takes care of the droppings making the parks appearance nicer as well as addressing any potential health hazards.
- The geese are harassed by four different managers within the park district using trucks as a way of making them flee.
- The district fences off areas where new sod and seed has been laid down to deter them from eating the grass blades.
In the past, the park district has taken many different avenues to reduce geese populations. We have used trained dogs with little or no success and sprays for the grass. Our greatest success has been with the practice stated above, which is rendering the eggs non-productive. In the spring of 2007 we disposed of 32 nests and successfully rendered 202 eggs. Many of our parks have this nuisance fowl causing problems. Northside, Graf, Rathje, Seven Gables, and Armbrust are just a handful of parks where the geese are significant.
The Wheaton Park District is always actively seeking new alternatives to minimize this nuisance pest.
For more information, please read:
Canada Geese and Your Lake (PDF, 204Kb), produced by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.