Council laments goose droppings in Penny Park

By Ralph Echtinaw

The perplexing problem of goose droppings came up last Tuesday, as city council approved purchase of playground equipment for Penny Park.

“There are so many geese down there all the time, and the droppings are all over. Is that safe for us to be putting people in there?” asked Councilman Jerry Church.

“We’ve not heard about any health issues related to it,” said City Manager Kurt Giles. “But it doesn’t mean there couldn’t be some.”

Penny Park

Penny Park is located on Prospect Street on the north side of the Pine River.

DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott has battled the St. Louis Canadian geese population for years. He asked state officials for tips in reducing their numbers. They suggested driving a truck through the area where geese congregate several times a day. Abbott said he tried that, but geese always returned.

Abbott has used the city’s Vactor truck to wash goose droppings off sidewalks, but geese messed it up again in a matter of days. “I’m still an advocate for a hunt,” Abbott told the council.

Another tactic the state recommends is destroying goose nests, which St. Louis DPW personnel have been doing. Using a long pole (such as a broomstick) workers mess up the nests and toss eggs into the Pine River.

Even then, Abbott said “a resident called raising the roof that we were throwing eggs in the river.” But they still do it every spring.

It’s too bad the geese don’t relocate to the Velsicol site, Abbott said.

Anyway, council voted to approve purchase of playground equipment for Penny Park from Sinclair Recreation of Holland, Mich. for $25,525.

The old equipment will be removed by Public Works staff. Sinclair personnel will install new equipment.

Sinclair also installed playground equipment at Leppien Park. Abbott was “very happy with their workmanship.”

Snider Recreation of North Royalton, Ohio also bid on the job, but came in high at $37,000.

“We do understand (that Penny Park) is used quite a bit,” Giles said. “That old equipment is beyond obsolete.”

The new equipment will be installed this fall or early spring next year.