New beacons scare geese at Crystal Lake

Published 01/03 2013 06:48PM

Updated 01/03 2013 06:55PM

URBANA -- The city's park district is trying to get rid of a problem it's been dealing with for years. They said gaggles of geese call the area home and there are simply too many of them.

City workers installed about a dozen beacons at Crystal Lake last week. They hope to scare them away for good. The geese are gone for the winter, but the parks leaders said that's why now is the perfect time to put their plan into action. The beacons start flashing when it gets dark out.

"When there's about 15 geese, I say that's pretty much good enough," said Christian Krafft, who was visiting the park. "Because after a while, they start to mate and get very aggressive if you come in their territory."

Urbana parks staff said about 90 geese stay in the area during the year, sometimes more. They said that's too many so they installed the flashing beacons to scare them away. But not everyone is on-board.

"It's wrong to do that with nature because they're a part of nature," said James Calhoun, who was visiting the park. "That's where they live and eat and sleep so that's where they need to be during the day and night."

City leaders said it's a friendly way to say, "go away," and they hope the geese get the message. Parks officials said the lights don't bother the other animals. They said the amber light mimics what a predator's eyes look like in the dark. That's what scares the geese away. Each beacon cost about $200.

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