Geese

It has been our experience that the geese do not like long grass and will preferentially go the mowed areas. As Bermuda grass needs to trimmed short, we will no longer plant it on the lake areas. The contractor is supposed to cut the grass at six inches. (However, it seems very difficult to have him do this.) It is possible that letting most of the grass grow somewhat longer and cutting walking paths around the lake and at the property lines might reduce the goose attracting areas. This could be considered, but it should be recognized that it might just drive them into the adjacent yards. People feeding them does not help.

What You Can Do to Discourage Geese.  In suburbia, fertilized, closely mown grass, in fact, a verdant lawn leading to a pond - devoid of surrounding shrubs and trees - is the ideal goose habitat. Thatís exactly what weíve provided for the geese. We encourage their residency with lush, green lawns. The best way to discourage geese is to alter their habitat:
  1. Reduce grassy areas by planting large borders of ground cover. Geese do not like to walk through such plantings.
  2. Plant native trees and shrubs. Geese tend to avoid lawns when they cannot see a water body for a quick getaway.
  3. Allow grass to grow taller. Geese do not like to walk through tall grass.
  4. Turn part of a lawn into a native wild flower meadow.
  5. Plant grass less tasty to geese. Substitute fescues for Kentucky Blue Grass.

The Lakes & Grounds Committee has already halted the practice of mowing the grass and plants right down to the water. Besides discouraging geese, allowing vegetation along the banks has significantly reduced erosion of the banks and silting of the lake. Allowing the grass and waterside plants to grow naturally at the water's edge has already produced noticeable improvement in the condition of the bank, and it appears that the natural wildlife -- frogs, dragonflies, etc. -- has benefited from this action and should help to manage the mosquito population. Information provided by Canada Geese Citizenís Advisory Committee http://www.icu.com/geese/report1.html.  

For more information on current policies and perspectives on geese & mowing around the lakes see:  

NC Official Position on Geese

Greystone Geese Task Force Report & Recommendations (October 2001)

Greystone Lake Report and Perspective (09/05/01)