Saturday, March 5, 2011


Hands around the Lake
Saturday, March 26th, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Last July, in the early hours of the morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) "removed" Prospect Park's entire goose population (almost 400 of them). The geese were herded together, put in crates, gassed to death inside of the park, put in bags, and dumped in a landfill. But several alternatives to slaughtering geese are available, as The New York Times reports:
Elsewhere in the country, nuisance wildlife birds are usually chased away by border collies or firecrackers. But in New York...there is no relocation program for the geese, and they must be euthanized. Another method for controlling the birds is coating their eggs with corn oil, to prevent them from hatching.
In other places where geese are still killed, they're not thrown in the garbage:
Other states use different methods, like turning the geese into food or animal feed.
More Canada geese began appearing in the park shortly afterward.

At Hands around the Lake, people can take a stand on behalf of the wildlife in New York City's parks, encourage the use of humane methods to disperse geese, and try to prevent a repetition of what was done last summer.

Adults and children are invited to join hands around Prospect Park Lake in support of humane treatment for Canada geese and all urban wildlife in the city's parks and greenspaces.
The Prospect Park Wildlife Management Advisory Committee was formed in September and developed a management plan. Prospect Park plans to use humane alternatives this year, but it's still possible that the geese will be gassed before the city's extermination contract with the USDA expires this June 30th. Wildlife advocates want Mayor Bloomberg to end the contract and substitute humane, non-lethal alternatives.

The scheduled speakers at the event are
  • New York State Senator Senator Eric Adams
  • New York City Councilmember Letitia James 
  • Patrick Kwan, New York State Director of the Humane Society of the United States
  • Scotlund Haisley, President and Founder of Animal Rescue Corps
  • Edita Birnkrant, New York Director of Friends of Animals
  • Cynthia King, Brooklyn community member, children's dance teacher, and friend of animals

Location: Prospect Park- Lakeside. Enter the park at Vanderbilt Street and Prospect Park SW. Gather for speakers near Well House Drive. From there, it's a short walk down the road to the grassy area just to left of the lakeside.

Time: The line around the lake will form at 12:30. The event will begin at 1:00.