Illinois public golf course looks to plywood dogs to alleviate damage caused by geese in the off-season

Top Quote Naperbrook Golf Course, located in Plainfield, IL and a part of the Naperville Park District, is using wooden, cut-out dogs to prevent geese from making the course their winter home, and thereby alleviating damage and the need for costly repairs in the spring. End Quote
  • Chicago, IL (1888PressRelease) December 12, 2009 - The Naperville Park District’s Kevin Carlson, Superintendent of Golf Grounds for Naperbrook and Springbrook Golf Courses, is hoping a fleet of plywood dogs will help alleviate off season damage caused by geese.

    During the off season, Naperbrook, a public golf course located in Plainfield, IL, typically has hundreds of resident geese who remain on the course through the winter. With limited food available, the geese tend to eat and dig up any turf not covered by snow. Then in the spring, when the snow melts staff finds the golf course covered with droppings, which requires significant labor to clean up the course just to make it playable.

    “Each spring, the golf courses receive several complaints regarding the mess geese create,” said Carlson. “This is the third season we have used dog silhouettes as a deterrent for resident geese. The most obvious damage is the droppings, but the geese also tear up the turf.”

    Naperbrook staff worked diligently to assemble this year’s canine crew. They traced the original patterns using an overhead projector and cut out the dog silhouettes from ¾-inch plywood with a jigsaw. The cutouts were then sanded and painted before being mounted on one-inch stainless steel conduit.

    “Sooner or later the geese tend to figure it out,” Carlson said. “The dogs don’t move much and heavy snows tend to cover them and staff has to occasionally go out and dust them off or dig them out. However, they do tend to minimize the damage, which helps in the long run.”

    The pack of twenty doggie decoys is willing to travel to other Naperville Park District sites if their services are needed. Luckily the goose problem at Springbrook, Naperbrook’s sister course, is not as bad. Springbrook is located next to a forest preserve that has a coyote population that tends to limit the number of geese.

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