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Posted on: July 13, 2021

Predator decoys battle geese at Liberty Park

Alligator decoy

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Liberty Park is a great place for picnics, exercise, playtime, and to enjoy nature, but the geese that typically migrate in and out of the area are making the park their full-time home and causing problems for park patrons and maintenance crews. 

In August 2020, predator decoys were strategically installed at Liberty Park as a way to address this rising goose population. 

Now, some 250 geese have made Liberty Park their permanent residence, and the amount of waste they leave behind continues to be a concern. Each goose produces one pound of waste per day and up to four pounds if they are hand-fed. The waste damages the park turf, causes slip hazards on walkways, poses health risks and damages the protected wetlands. The geese also reproduce in large numbers, with a single goose able to hatch five goslings in an average mating season. All of this results in a growing burden to taxpayers. 

In addition to coyote decoys installed last year, the City will place fox and alligator decoys around and inside the pond to deter geese from making the park their permanent home. The decoys will be relocated periodically to keep the geese from getting too comfortable.  

Signage at the park reminds patrons that feeding waterfowl and other wildlife is prohibited at Liberty Park. 

“Supplemental feeding has several negative consequences on goose habits,” said Jennifer Letourneau, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The most important step the public can take to help us address the overcrowding of geese in the park and restore the animals’ natural drive to migrate is to avoid feeding them. We invite our guests to enjoy the park’s wildlife from afar while observing their natural habits.”

The Canada goose was once decimated by hunting and loss of environment. A successful effort to grow the population took place decades ago and they resettled in large numbers across the country. Canadian geese prefer to eat grass and tend to graze in areas with large open spaces and within sight of water to allow them room to escape predators.

About Clarksville Parks & Recreation

Clarksville Parks & Recreation provides a variety of indoor/outdoor programs, facilities, nature activities and entertainment events for people living in the Montgomery County and Fort Campbell area. These free or reasonably priced, year-round experiences help residents enhance their health, wellness, and social engagement—resulting in a stronger, better community.

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