By Dave Yusz, Building and Grounds Superintendent
Have you ever played a game of chess with hundreds of geese and three fake coyotes?
It’s a constant battle. Down on the Bayfront, we have a bit of a geese conundrum. I must have 300 geese down here. Before Roar on the Shore, we had maybe 25-50 geese. I don’t know what the difference is, but now there’s a lot more!
Where they come from, I don’t know. But they’re making a mess!
Apparently, a group of geese is called a ‘gaggle,’ but I’d like to propose a new way to describe ‘gaggle’ – the amount of goose poop is enough to make you gag, but you’ve got to laugh at how ridiculous of an issue it is! You’re laughing while you’re gagging.
Even funnier is the way we’re combating the problem.
If you see coyotes on our grounds, don’t be alarmed. We have three realistic-looking coyotes that we strategically place to scare off geese. Every morning, we reposition them so they don’t get used to it. As you can see from the pictures, it sort of works.
We also have one at UPMC Park that keeps the birds away there.
When we’re not battling geese, we’re doing plenty of other things, too. One item we put a lot of work into is making sure the public walkways down here are clean. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s a half-mile of shoreline down here, and there are some spectacular views. People often fish here by the Bayfront Convention Center and many walk by our hotels.
We do rounds of each of the three buildings every day and take a look at the shoreline. Three or four guys go out and they’re out there for two hours every morning. We clean up cigarette butts, trash, and yes, goose poop! We also do lawn mowing and edging to prepare for the public.
Speaking of preparing, in the beginning of August, we prep our snow equipment. Plows, snow blowers, shovels – all swear words here in Erie. People say “But it’s only July right now,” and I’m like, dude, if we don’t get this done early enough it’s going to be too late.
We all know how bad snow can get here. Last year with the snow storm, we were in trucks 18 hours a day for seven days straight. We took two days off after that and I told people not to contact me. It was that bad!
That said, I’m thankful that as of right now, I’m dealing with geese instead of snow. I only wish we could keep it that way!