"Goosinator" herds geese away from Madison parks


by David Ade

 MADISON -- Madison has worked for years to come up with a plan to encourage geese to stay away from city parks.

Once again this year, part of that plan includes using a tool that may look ridiculous to most people, but scary to the geese.

It’s called the Goosinator, and it’s a 28-hundred dollar remote control Styrofoam drone that runs on land or water.

And it's Madison Park District's most colorful way of keeping geese off soccer fields, and away from people who just don't want to deal with what the birds bring to the table.

"They create a big problem because of you know, their droppings. So you're tip toeing around that." said Dottie Schoenke, a cyclist at Madison’s Vilas Park.

"They [geese] basically pass through about a pound a day." said Russ Hefty, a conservation resource supervisor with Madison Park District.

The pound of droppings each goose leaves behind is more than just gross, it can carry diseases and force the park district to shut down beaches because of contaminated water.

So the Goosinator is just one part of bigger plan to keep the geese away from fields and lakes.

"Between this and the other things we've done their parks are more usable.” Hefty said.

All it takes is a few minutes for the Goosinator to strike fear into a flock, and it's off to the next park.


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