City Implements Geese Management Plan

DES MOINES, IOWA — Tuesday, May 10, 2022 — Safety concerns in City parks, on municipal golf courses, recreation trails and stormwater retention ponds have prompted the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department to implement for the first time a Canada geese management plan

“Des Moines contains many environments that attract Canada geese, and their presence overlaps with human activities that can lead to unwanted interactions,” said Parks Manager Mike Gaul. “The geese pose a safety concern particularly now during nesting season, but our park visitors must also contend with the mess the geese leave behind.”

The Parks and Recreation Department collaborated with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to create the management plan which went into effect this spring. Gaul says the plan includes an end to recreational feeding, modifying habitat and aversive conditioning so geese become less habituated and prefer areas with fewer people.

“Our number one goal is to address in a humane manner the growing concerns over geese interactions and to reduce the human-goose conflicts that exist in parks and public areas,” Gaul added.

Benjamin R. Page
Director, Parks and Recreation

About Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Founded in 1892, the Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is “Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.” Our department is responsible for the management of 76 parks, over 4,000 acres of parkland, 88 miles of trails, seven cemeteries and numerous recreation facilities.  In addition, we offer programs in the areas of sports, urban conservation, environmental education, sport instruction, volunteerism, rentals and special events. For more information on Des Moines Parks and Recreation programs or facilities, visit our website (, Facebook