Nelson uses drone to scare geese from playing fields

They also use noise-makers, and a turf sweeper to clean up droppings.

The City of Nelson uses a noise maker and a drone to scare away geese

The Nelson public works department uses a drone to scare geese away from the playing fields at Lakeside Park.

“A lot of municipalities have problems with geese,” says Nelson’s public works supervisor Karen MacDonald.

“Some other communities are going to try using a drone. We are the first community that has.”

Geese have been in the news recently because of speculation that geese are the reason for some high E. coli counts at Lakeside beach. Although one very high reading was discounted as a sampling error, two others earlier in the summer were well above the accepted limit.

“It is so unhygienic and dangerous for little kids who might fall,” says Nelson Youth Soccer soccer executive director Sveta Tisma. “They might not wash their hands and then start licking them, it gets on your clothes, then gets in your car when you go home, so I would love to see that problem solved.”

Tisma says he gets complaints from soccer players and parents.

“The city has tried different things, but no one has come up with a permanent solution that works,” he said.

He admits that some of the city’s three solutions a drone, a noisemaker, and a turf sweeper work to some extent. But all of these have to be done regularly because the geese come back.

Also, they get used to the scare tactics and ignore them, says MacDonald.

“You have to switch it up,” she says, “because geese are pretty smart. If they see you driving up with a white truck they usually fly off.”

The playing fields are owned by the city and leased by Nelson Youth Soccer and other sports organizations.

MacDonald says the number of geese increases every year because people feed them.

“You try to tell them to stop and you get told to ‘foxtrot off,’” she said.

The city also uses a turf sweeper that picks up the droppings. The city runs this in the soccer fields and along the beach twice a week.

Tisma likes the turf sweeper but says its effect is temporary.

“It takes a while to pick all that up, it is hours of work, and then the geese come back,” he says. “They are so used to us that when we are having a game, they move to the field right beside us.”

A Google search turns up many stories of municipalities across the continent struggling with geese, including goose culls, which are always controversial.

MacDonald says geese are a protected species and to cull them they’d need a permit from the Ministry of the Environment. But she says in Nelson the idea would be a non-starter.

“I think there would be quite a bit of public outcry. There are people out there who don’t even want us harassing them, either with scarers or chasing them off.”

But there are also people on the other side of the argument.

“We have lots of people saying get rid of them, mostly at the soccer fields because so many kids are down there playing.”

 

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

Trafalgar students build home for sanctuary horse

Grade 8 students collaborated on a project with a local farm sanctuary

Nelson won’t restrict parking amnesty to West Kootenay

So far, more than 800 people have responded with amnesty payments

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read