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Feeding ducks leads to yucks



Published: Fri, August 19, 2011 @ 8:45 p.m.

Youngstown

Tossing bread to waterfowl sometimes is a common occurrence at ponds and lakes, but Mill Creek MetroParks staff say it’s bad for the animals and against park policy.

Kirsten Peetz, MetroParks environmental-land manager, said about six signs recently were posted at the Lily Pond off McCollum Road to inform visitors that feeding the ducks and geese is not allowed. Peetz said the signs also educate the public as to why.

“When people feed the birds, they become reliant on that food,” she said. “Bread isn’t really an appropriate food for wild birds — especially old, moldy bread.”

Peetz said that when the Canada geese get used to being fed, they begin to gather, and they bring their young, making it a generational problem.

“When geese congregate, they trample; there’s a lot of fecal matter,” she said. “They nest in nearby areas then parade their

ducklings down to the pond because they know people will feed them.”

The Lily Pond, which is the oldest man-made body of water in the MetroParks, has suffered, partially as a result of geese and duck congregation, Peetz said.

The once-clear pond water is now a dingy brown from years of fecal contamination and sediment displacement, and the area around the water’s edge is dirt instead of grass because the waterfowl trample down the vegetation.

Linda Kostka, marketing and development director, said the MetroParks is beginning a project to renovate and clean the Lily Pond and its surroundings.

“We’re going to do some planting and redo some of the drainage and parts of the trail,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring the pond back to what it was 30 or 40 years ago.”

Peetz said the pond’s aesthetics are just as important as its environmental quality.

“This area is what people see,” she said. “The water coming down from a spring up the hill is clean, so we’d like to do what we can to clean the pond itself and make it a nice place to bring your family.”


Comments

1lovedrama(138 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm excited. They should provide some feed for the kids to throw-perhaps corn or whatever those geese eat--for a small price. Matby put some of those educational signs around telling the kids why proper nutrition for the animals is important, have some little wildlife parties or events there too.

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2VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Corn is one of the worst feeds for wild geese. Corn will bloat up wild geese. Canada geese's natural food is grass, not corn. Allowing Canada geese to congregate en-mass at public parks is not only unhealthy for the geese, but also for the public. The trampled soil cannot grow grass and it is replaced with fecal matter, which you certainly do not want your children or a baby crawling around in. Canada geese are a beautiful bird from a distance, but put them together en-mass and they become a nuisance. That is why you should not feed wild Canada geese or any wild animal, because you are changing their eating habits and making them dependent on you for their food.

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3whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Well they sure look good in a big pan full of potaoes onions and carrots.

Vindyak is right though you shouldnt feed the geese like any wild animal it makes them dependant on humans for food

kind of like these generation after generation Welfare Rats totally dependant on " The Man " for existance.

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4Ytownnative(1012 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

people have been feeding geese there for the past 50 years atleast. Its getting to the point they should just close off the whole park and have you ride through on a caged bus. They took away most of the parking places no bike riding on the trails they are slowly taking everything fun away from the park

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5justonevoice(94 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Although I understand the position of the Park and agree that the Lily Pond needs cleaned up and I also understand why they're asking us not to feed the ducks and geese, I have to say I agree with Ytownnative - it does seem the The Park doesn't want you there. As Ytownnative said, they took away all the parking places - the last time I went to The Rose Garden, I took my shoes off while walking through the grass and you would have thought I just commited murder. The Garden security yard came running and yelled at me to "put your shoes on!" - I was very embarassed - and my husband and I left because I was so embarassed.

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6palefoot(35 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I have never had any trouble enjoying nature at Mill Creek, never had trouble finding a parking spot where I wanted and never been yelled at for taking my shoes off. I have been going there for 35 years. If you are finding these are truely problems, they have open board meetings where the public can offer solutions, I'm sure if you call they can tell you when and where they are.
I don't think people understand why they shouldn't feed the geese, they are just fascinated that they can get so close to them. When its renovated I think a nice, small, educational sign at the end where they are being fed would really help.
Glad they are going to try to restore it!

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7makesyathink(39 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I've seen the educational sign near the Lily Pond for many years, with bread bags haging from it.....people are going to do whatever they want to do. Will be a major effort to get the general public to realize how much effort and money it will take to reverse the decades of damage they've done to the area and to the animals. Main message though - don't feed wild animals - especially not people food!

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