Kansas City may outlaw feeding Canada geese in city parks, a practice that officials say results in a bigger buildup of goose poop on sidewalks and trails.
A proposed ordinance introduced Thursday sets a maximum $500
fine and a jail sentence of up to 6 months for feeding geese that
crowd into parks. Chunks of bread and other treats entice more of
the big birds to stay around for more, which creates an even worse
Those who count the birds every year know their populations have grown twentyfold in the past 20 years. In 1983, there were 1,600. Last year, there were 41,500. Some say humans are to blame.
"In the case of the geese, which is what we're talking about now, it's almost as if humans have hung out a welcome mat in their cities. They created an oasis that's attractive to populations," said Dr. Alan Maccarone, Friends University Biology Professor.
Although there is no such ordinance in Wichita, there are varying opinions regarding the geese.
Many Wichita residents have discovered a few geese are one thing, but huge flocks in a neigborhood can wear out their welcome in a hurry.
"We kind of liked them at first when we moved to Kansas. But after being here one year we found out what a nuisance they can be," said Tony Colaluca, NW Wichita resident.
Parks officials say rain washes the goose droppings into
adjacent creeks, which could affect water quality. But park users
complain that so much of the gooey, green goose poop coats walkways that it's unpleasant -- and downright risky -- to go for a walk.
Officials say that if the ordinance is enacted, the primary
targets will be frequent goose-feeders who have continued the
practice after being asked to stop.