NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - There's a menace in North Little Rock soiling one of the city's crown jewels. The city says it's tried and failed to deal with the problem in the past but there is an effort underway to renew the fight.
Burns Park in North Little Rock is known for its vast expanse of land, network of trails and recreational venues like soccer fields, golf course and archery range. These days, however, it's also known for the pesky squatters making the park their home.
Geese. Lots of them.
"What we tried to do last year didn't work so we're going to be a little more aggressive," said North Little Rock mayor Joe Smith.
Smith says the city has already tried a number of ways to get the geese to move elsewhere, none of which have worked very well. So now he's calling in the cavalry.
"Last year we attempted to get the geese to move along unsuccessfully, and so now we are going to buy a dog," said Smith. "Burns Park is an awfully large area and it covers about 7 miles of riverfront so trying to feed the geese things that make them sick and want to go fly somewhere else is a really good idea, we just have too big of an area."
The city is now looking to buy a trained border collie who will patrol the park and chase off any winged trespassers.
"It's certainly a recreation area for, not only North Little Rock but, all of Central Arkansas and we have plenty of visitors to the soccer fields and, of course, bikers and joggers and golfers," added Smith. "A goose certainly makes a very large mess and it's my opinion and, I think, a lot of people's opinion that it's unsanitary and we certainly don't want our children running, playing, kicking and rolling in it."
Smith says the city of Little Rock had a border collie that deterred geese at Rebsamen Park for a number of years but that dog passed away, so Smith plans to talk with Little Rock officials to see if the two cities can go together and buy two trained dogs which could save money for both municipalities.