City says high-traf­fic ar­eas are cleaned but it’s not long be­fore poop reap­pears

Windsor Star - - FRONT PAGE - DAVE BATTAGELLO dbattag­ello@post­media.com

A man walks past a Canada goose ly­ing in the mid­dle of a walk­ing path along Wind­sor’s river­front on Fri­day. Hun­dreds of geese that leave piles of drop­pings in the path have cre­ated a prob­lem for vis­i­tors to the down­town park­land.

Wel­come to Poopville.

While there is no of­fi­cial sign with such a procla­ma­tion, Wind­sor’s prom­i­nent river­front has be­come ex­actly that — thanks to hun­dreds of geese who have de­clared the park­land home.

A tour of river­front trails, paths and side­walks Fri­day showed all but a few ar­eas no­tice­ably cov­ered with goose drop­pings.

The worst were nat­u­ral habi­tat ar­eas cre­ated on the east end in Great Western Park near the foot of Mar­entette Av­enue and on the west end in As­sump­tion Park close to the Am­bas­sador Bridge.

“It’s gross,” said Wayne Pi­lutti of Wind­sor, who vis­its the river­front a few times a week for a walk. “It’s all up and down the side­walks. It’s pretty bad this year. The city needs to clean this, just power wash it or some­thing.”

Even pave­ment around the Viet­nam War Memo­rial was lit­tered with goose poop, in­clud­ing both the con­crete Cana­dian and Amer­i­can flags on each side.

“It’s a memo­rial, you would think that should at least be cleaned,” Pi­lutti said.

But the goose poop is­sue is one which cities across North Amer­ica strug­gle with, said the city’s park and recre­ation boss Jan Wil­son.

“They like wa­ter or open grass ar­eas,” she said. “It’s not just our river­front parks, but we have them in parks around the city.

“We do our best to keep the high­traf­fic ar­eas clean, but it’s not long af­ter be­fore its filled with goose drop­pings again. They are wildlife and we do need to share the planet with wildlife.”

There were sev­eral first-time vis­i­tors to the river­front on Fri­day. A few, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied, said they did not mind the in­fil­tra­tion of geese and their poop.

“It’s not great, but I re­ally like the geese,” said Irina Mu­tiu of Lon­don, who went for a walk on the river­front while her kids were at the down­town aquatic cen­tre.

Oth­ers tourists were a bit shocked and not so happy to be closely watch­ing their step.

“It’s our first time to Wind­sor,” said Ken Kit­ten of Mil­wau­kee, who was walk­ing with his wife Mary on the river­front near the Viet­nam memo­rial. “I know they are Cana­dian geese, but I don’t think you need so much of this part of the goose around here.

“When you look at the memo­rial, it makes it worse when you see some­thing that is sup­posed to be re­spect­ful. You can’t walk in the grass and we didn’t want to go by the flags be­cause it’s so cov­ered by goose (drop­pings). It would be nice if they could fig­ure out some­thing to keep it clean.”

Mil­wau­kee faced the same prob­lem re­cently with an abun­dance of geese in mu­nic­i­pal parks, the Kit­tens said.

Of­fi­cials de­cided to “har­vest” the large birds and do­nate them for food to area food banks and home­less shel­ters through the city’s hunger task force, the cou­ple said.

It was sug­gested a cou­ple of years ago in a re­port to Wind­sor’s coun­cil that if the city wanted to move geese from the river­front that re­lo­ca­tion, bar­ri­ers or scare tac­tics could be uti­lized. Oth­er­wise, the city would have to buy a side­walk sweeper and ded­i­cate a worker to solely keep­ing the river­front clean.

But no ac­tion was taken by coun­cil be­cause it was de­ter­mined that re­lo­ca­tion or forc­ing the birds from any spe­cific area rarely proved suc­cess­ful as they would soon re­turn, Wil­son said.

The city’s ma­rina is an­other trou­ble spot for goose poop, she said.

“We use power wash­ers and our ex­ist­ing equip­ment as best we can,” Wil­son said. “We also have wed­dings in some of our parks. It can be re­ally frus­trat­ing for every­one be­cause right af­ter you clean it, the drop­pings quickly re­turn.”

It’s gross. It’s all up and down the side­walks. It’s pretty bad this year. The city needs to clean this, just power wash it or some­thing.



Goose poop lit­ters the shore­line along a pop­u­lar recre­ational por­tion of the Wind­sor river­front Fri­day.


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