City code enforcement officers will be at Veterans Park on Saturday to begin handing out $100 citations to anyone caught feeding the wildlife.
The City recently spent more than $2.2 million to refurbish what was Village Pond Park, creating Veterans Park with a rebuilt 1-acre pond and monuments to each branch of the military. The park includes design features to discourage geese and ducks from nesting at the park. The population of water fowl was low at the park until it reopened to the public, and the City received several photographs of visitors illegally feeding the birds.
Feeding the wildlife is actually bad for the birds, causing disease and attracting an unnatural number of birds to the park. That's bad for the park, because the bird waste is unhealthy for humans, unsightly and expensive to clean.
Now, City officials are warning it could be bad for those who feed the birds, in the form of $100 fines.
The City is also installing video cameras, not only to dissuade visitors from feeding the wildlife, but also in hopes of preventing vandalism at the park. Additionally, other measures are used to prevent a large number of geese or ducks from taking up permanent residence, such as shiny materials in trees, artificial coyotes and remote-controlled vehicles.
The City is following Humane Society guidelines in the effort.