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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Youngkin announces $500 million in conservation funding

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced over $500 million in conservation funding on Friday.

This will be used to address water quality, flooding, land preservation, habitat restoration and more.

Over $250 million will be dedicated specifically for water quality and infrastructure related projects.

In the announcement, he highlights that while coastal communities are the most at risk, flooding affects the entire Commonwealth.

Some of the key initiatives include:

  • over $200 million for Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) implementation to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay
  • $100 million to focus on larger community scale flooding projects
  • $8.2 million in critical operations and staffing funds for conservation and state park operations
  • $5 million to the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund

A full list of the projects funded is available here.

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Winchester releases annual water quality report

The City of Winchester’s Public Utilities Department released their 2022 Annual Water Supply and Quality Report.

The report was prepared in accordance with the Virginia Health Department and EPA’s rules and regulations for drinking water.

Winchester’s drinking water was found to fully comply with all monitoring and reporting requirements without any violations reported for the 2022 calendar year.

The report includes a variety of information including the sources and treatment of local drinking water, quality of water, and a full list of potential contaminates with their suggested and actual levels.

To view the full report, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Middletown begins hydrant flushes

Middletown’s Public Works Department announced that hydrant flushes will occur over the next two weeks.

During flushes, residents may notice reduced water pressure and flow or a discoloration of water.

This will clear up after running the water for a little while.

Hydrant flushing is necessary to ensure water quality and avoid rusty water in situations where there is a high demand for water due to a firefighting effort or water main break.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia receives funds for environmental endeavors

Senator Mark Warner announced Virginia will receive funds to help clean up abandoned mines and build more electric vehicle charging stations.

$22 million dollars will be allocated to clean up abandoned mines by sealing dangerous shafts and reclaiming unstable slopes.

The cleanup will also improve local water quality and prevent harmful pollution.

$106 million will be used to expand the number of electronic vehicle charging stations.

This is an increase from the initial $17 million investment. 

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.