Join the Goose Patrol

Every year the Dane County Parks Department decides whether or not to round up geese and their goslings and have them killed. Parks’ main motivation seems to be public complaints. In 2019, there was less to complain about because volunteers regularly chased away the geese at many of the public parks and some volunteers picked up their droppings.

The more volunteers, the fewer geese on the most popular beaches, the less poop, the fewer complaints and the more likely that Parks won’t kill them. The geese need you to help keep them off Dane County Park’s beaches.

To the left you can see the technical, highly specialized, but optional, tools you might want to have if you decide to help. As you walk toward the geese, herding them toward the water, you should make a ruckus. The whistle helps. The poop-scoop makes a good loud noise when you open it and let it snap shut. You could beat on the bucket.

If you decide to pick up poop, the poop scoop is a must-have. ( *Waving your arms, yelling, and moving toward them works too!) Depending on the beach, there maybe a dumpster nearby where Parks disposes of the large volume of algae that can accumulate. If there is one, you could empty your bucket into it. If you are a gardener and do any composting, the poop is a supercharger for your compost pile. Otherwise, any overgrown non-beach, unmowed area is probably an OK poop-dumping site.

To get involved, contact Paul Quinlan, City of Madison Parks Conservation Resources Supervisor at (608) 267-4918 or Let us know if you run into problems. See too: Adopt a Madison Park.