New device used in battling geese problem at local park

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – The heavy geese population is overwhelming a local park.

Blytheville Parks and Recreation Director Elroy Brown says on any given day at least 100 geese are in the pond or walking around Walker park, and while they are aesthetically pleasing, their presence creates problems for park visitors and the fish population.

Brown hopes a $369 product called "Away With Geese" will help decrease the population humanely. The City of Blytheville purchased and installed two devices, which emit a flashing light at night that disturbs the sleep pattern of the geese and ducks in an effort to make them migrate.

"It has an amber light that's solar powered, and when the sun goes down,n and the geese begin to roost or nest, they start flashing off this amber light," he said. "Yes, (the ducks and geese) do add something to the park, but the population has gotten too threatening right now."

Blytheville resident Becky Franks enjoys feeding the ducks and geese, and said she has seen two or 300 in the park at one time.

"I understand what they're trying to do to keep the sidewalk clean so we have our walking trail," she said. "I don't think that's a bad thing as long as they're humane about it."

Brown said one of the main reasons the City is trying "Away With Geese" is the large amount of droppings from the ducks and geese on the sidewalks. "One goose can drop two to four pounds of waste a day, and when you think of talking about 100 geese, you're looking at two to 400 pounds of waste," he said.

The waste also creates a problem for the fish in the pond.

"The waste actually gets into the water, and then once it's into the water, algae begins to grow and then it eliminates the oxygen out of the water."

Brown said it will probably take two to six months for park visitors to notice a difference in the population.

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