Jim Barnett Park addresses goose problem

The City of Winchester’s Public Services Department is attempting a new strategy to curb the geese pollution problem at Wilkin’s Lake in Jim Barnett Park.

Residents may notice border collies at the pond through July as part of a new, humane maintenance program.

The highly-trained dogs will be stationed at the pond.

When confronted with a goose, they will  crouch, stalk, and present a menacing “wolf like” gaze.

This will make the goose think that it is confronting a predator and move on to a different location.

The goal of the program is to use the geese predator fearing instincts to teach them that Wilkin’s Lake is not an acceptable location for them to nest or feed.

No geese will be harmed by the dogs.

Border Collies are often employed for similar roles at golf courses, airports, and other recreational spaces due to their ability to herd while maintaining their composure to not harm the target.

A single goose produces around 1,000 pounds of manure in one year.

Geese pollution can lead to poor water quality, low oxygen levels in water, and harmful algae blooms.

If you have any questions about this new initiative, contact the Grounds Maintenance department at 540-662-4946 ext. 1171.  

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Blue Ridge Wildlife Center opens a new enclosure

giving tuesday

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce opened its first of three new waterfowl enclosures.

The enclosures will help in rehabilitating waterfowl like ducklings, geese and herons and free up space for other patients.

The enclosure was funded by a giving Tuesday campaign.

The new enclosure includes a large pool and decking which was donated by Trex.

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center  is grateful for the support in creating the enclosure for its ever increasing number of patients.

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