The couple of dozen Canada geese around Furnace Dam Park in Emmaus Tuesday afternoon appeared blissfully unaware that their goose was cooked.
The night before, Emmaus Borough Council unanimously approved an ordinance that permits leveling fines of up to $300 on people who feed water fowl in the borough parks.
The genesis of the ordinance began several years -- and a few tons of goose poop -- ago. Spurred by complaints about the annoying abundance of goose and duck droppings at the park, council approved an ordinance in 2008 to authorize fines for people who feed the water fowl, according to Shane Pepe, borough manager.
But back then, Mayor Winfield Iobst vetoed the bill. “He thought at that point the geese weren’t such a problem,” Pepe said. “Since then, he’s agreed it’s terrible down there.” Tuesday night the mayor signed the ordinance that goes into effect immediately.
“Barely anyone wants to rent the pavilion because of the water fowl,” Pepe said. “There are goose droppings all over the park.”
The geese and their leavings have spread to the Rodale property, including the yard by the Rodale child care center.
Pepe said officials have tried talking to the people who feed the geese and ducks but have gotten nowhere. The ordinance will add teeth with fines of between $100-$300 for an offense.
"Our goal is not to fine people, our goal is to discourage people from feeding the water fowl,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll move on. Like any other animal, as long as they know they’re being fed, they won’t move.”