City officials estimate about 100 geese live in the Water Reuse Pond area north of Carrie Blake Park. The City of Sequim is trying to repel them with nontoxic spray to other areas of the park to prevent health hazards and pedestrians slipping in the birds' waste. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
With an increase in the number of nesting geese at Carrie Blake Park and the Water Reuse Demonstration Park, city crews are fighting to keep walking paths and fields clean of the birds' waste.
Jeff Edwards, city parks manager, said they sprayed a nontoxic repellent called Migrate in the Albert Haller Playfields following the Dungeness Cup soccer tournament and around ponds to keep birds away from high-traffic areas.
Edwards said it made a difference in keeping the birds off the playfields, but it's hard to keep up with during the mowing season.
He estimates about 100 geese live at the Reuse Pond area despite crews spraying every six weeks to two months.
“We've always had geese before but that's when it was an empty field,” Edwards said. “Now that it's manicured and used it's a different story.”
Edwards continues to pursue nonviolent ways to sidetrack the birds to prevent health hazards.
He said he doesn't think the public would respond well to forcibly removing the birds, so he's considering putting up decoys and/or using a strobe light effect.
“Everything costs money and other than chasing them around with a lawnmower I don't know want to do,” he said.
The City of Sequim employs 1.5 full-time staff for all parks facilities maintenance during the summer and one full-time person during the winter.
"It's a constant, you have to stay out there to keep up on it," Edwards said.
The parks are used for several activities for hikers/bikers on the trail, Sequim Family Advocates, the Sequim Aqua Nauts radio-controlled sailboat club, Music in the Park, Sequim City Band concerts, the Olympic Peninsula Garden Society's Demonstration Garden, Lavender in the Park and more.
Edwards welcomes volunteers and ideas — call 683-4908.
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