Birds leaving big mess at popular park – WMTW Portland

Neighbors have asked the city to do more to clean up after wildlife
Neighbors have asked the city to do more to clean up after wildlife
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Neighbors have asked the city to do more to clean up after wildlife
Neighbors in South Portland are watching their steps around Mill Creek Park.
Local ducks and Canadian geese frequent the park’s pond and shady areas during the summer. However, the droppings they leave behind have created a mess for the humans who also enjoy Mill Creek.
Some areas, especially around the pond, are nearly entirely covered in bird poop, and the mess is starting to drive people and their pets away.
“I am disgusted. It’s pretty gross,” said Athena Giftos, who lives close by in South Portland and typically walks her dogs through the park.
Goose and duck droppings can carry a long list of bacteria that is harmful to dogs and humans, including salmonella and E. coli.
“You have to watch every step you take,” said Russ Lint, who visits Mill Creek most mornings to take pictures of the sunrise. “I would never want to go barefoot or sandals, I would never wear sandals in here.”
Lint said the birds are abnormally comfortable being around humans and will frequently come within feet of him at the park.
Neighbors have brought up mounting feces problems in recent town meetings, asking city leadership to do more to clean up after the birds.
The city has worked to discourage visitors from feeding the geese and ducks in recent years, posting signs around Mill Creek highlighting the negative effect it can have on the health of the birds and the quality of the park.
The city cleans the droppings from the park using a machine nicknamed the “crapper trapper.” Lint said he and others who frequent the park want the area cleaned more often and more to be done to prevent people from feeding the birds
A city ordinance prohibits feeding the birds and imposes a fine for violators.
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