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Quarry Hill considered for addition to goose-management plan

Rochester Park Board will be asked Tuesday whether the program should be expanded.

12-29 03 geese jw .jpg
A small flock of geese tiptoes down onto the ice of Silver Lake.
Post Bulletin file photo
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ROCHESTER – Goose management efforts could expand to another Rochester city park.

The Rochester Park Board will be asked Tuesday whether it wants to expand its efforts to limit egg hatching to include Quarry Hill Park this spring.

The goal is to control the number of resident geese in the city, which are the birds that do not migrate away from Rochester for a portion of the year.

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“Our management plan will not impact migratory geese that visit Rochester during the winter and return to the Arctic regions of Canada in the spring,” Rochester Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman said earlier this month in announcing the second year of the management program. “The goose management plan attempts to strike a balance of supporting wildlife, and ensuring parks and trails are safe for residents and visitors.”

A report to the Park Board says Quarry Hill Park has seen an increase in resident geese activity during the past two years, which has interfered with the natural habitat supporting diverse species.

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Last year, volunteers treated eggs in 77 nests, with 65 of the nests found in Silver Lake Park and 12 on park land around Cascade Lake. Searches in Soldiers Field and Foster-Arends parks didn’t reveal any eggs to treat.

While volunteers treated eggs with oil to prevent hatching last year, Widman said this year's plan will replace the real eggs with ceramic replicas. It’s a technique that a portion of last year's protesters preferred.

Both the oiling of eggs and replacing eggs are approved by the Humane Society of the United States. They call for testing eggs to make sure they have not progressed beyond 14 days of the 28-day incubation period.

Eggs considered too far along in the incubation cycle will be returned to the nests to be hatched.

At least 26 eggs were left to hatch in city parks last year.

The Park Board meets at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, which will be held online. Access information is available at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas .

If the addition of Quarry Hill is approved, the park will be added to the request for permits from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, since it is illegal to tamper with goose nests without state and federal approval.



UPCOMING MEETINGS 

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Meetings scheduled to be held during the week of Feb. 28 include:

Rochester 

• City Council study session, 3:30 p.m. Monday in city council chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE. The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

• Park Board, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Access information is available at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas

• Rochester Public Library Executive Committee, 9 a.m. Thursday. Access information is available at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas

Olmsted County

• Physical Development Committee, 8 a.m. Tuesday in conference room 4 of the government center.

• Administrative Committee, 8 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center.

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• Board of County Commissioners, 9 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center.

• Health, Housing and Human Services Committee, 10 a.m. Wednesday in conference room 4 of the government center.

• Public Health Services Advisory Board, 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Cascade/Whitewater conference room at 2100 Campus Drive SE.

• Planning Advisory Commission, 7 p.m. Thursday in the board chambers of the government center.

Rochester Public Schools

• School Board, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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