Columbiana tackles Canada geese problem

Firestone Park geese

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WYTV) – The Canada geese in Columbiana’s Firestone Park are leaving behind quite a mess. So much so that city council voted unanimously Tuesday to make it illegal to feed them.

Many people admit the geese, and what they leave behind, is a major headache and health concern for people enjoying the park. Now, a ticket will be issued and a fine incurred to anyone who feeds them.

Ronald Granato follows posted signs in Firestone Park by keeping his dog on a leash. He knows if he doesn’t, he could be cited. Granato said he is okay with the fact that he has to control his dog and thinks the wildlife needs controlled, too.

“It is a real problem. You can’t walk anywhere, and they don’t get out of the road, and the droppings are everywhere and it is not healthy,” Granato said.

Columbiana Council voted unanimously to start enforcing an ordinance against feeding wildlife in the park – mostly geese.

“I think there is no way for people to understand the gravity of something unless there is some teeth that you can put into it,” said Mayor Bryan Blakeman.

Columbiana Police Chief Tim Gladis said they will start by issuing warnings to educate people.

“We try to be reasonable and try to get people to change their behavior as opposed to trying to arrest or penalize people,” Gladis said.

In addition to signs and citations, noise-making devices will help scare the geese away. If folks still don’t get the message, or are warned more than once, they’ll wind up in Mayor’s Court where they could face a fine of $150 to $500.

“I just hate to see a grandparent or make a criminal out of a grandparent doing something with their grandchild or a young family member,” said Columbiana Councilman Ted Souder.

Mill Creek MetroParks came under fire in August after the controlled kill of about 100 geese in the park. Blakeman said he is not opposed to that but didn’t feel they needed to start there.

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