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Plainfield community won’t let problems with geese go for the birds

Community Christian Church—Carillon and The Links at Carillon—Plainfield have teamed up in response to problems noted with geese in the community.

The partnership formed between the two entities is making the purchase of a Border collie possible to help address community concerns.

“We’ve been noting problems with the geese for several years, it just keeps getting worse and worse,” said Earl Ferguson, community pastor for Community Christian Church—Carillon. “Geese, for a while, were on an endangered species list, but they’re not anymore because they multiply so fast. We have millions of them now in America. … The proliferation of the geese is the problem.”

Ferguson said not only have residents experienced issues with the geese, but also the golf course may be impacted.

“I think it was affecting golfers,” he said.

Ferguson recalled approaching the Carillon Adult Master Association (CAMA) Board to bring the issue to its attention.

Carillion is a gated community within the village of Plainfield that features a golf course.

“If they stop golfing there, the golf course could be in danger for our community,” Ferguson said. “It’s a very important part of our community. People move there because of the golf course.”

Ferguson had presented a petition to the CAMA Board and later appointments were made for the new Ponds and Geese Committee.

Ferguson said a member of the church had raised the idea at one point of acquiring a Border collie to address the community’s concerns.

“One of the best ways to get rid of geese is to get a Border collie and have somebody take this [dog] around the lakes,” he said. “The dog will chase the geese or stare them down. Dogs are specially trained for that purpose.”

Ferguson added, “[Border collies,] they naturally like to herd things.”

Ferguson said they are not looking to kill the geese, what they’re trying to do is discourage them from gathering in the community.

The church worked with the North Carolina-based Fly Away Geese to acquire a Border collie that is trained specifically to address the community’s concerns for the geese.

Rebecca Gibson, the owner of Fly Away Geese, said Border collies are very effective at what they’re trained to do.

“They move things with their heads down and their tails in between their legs,” she said. “They mimic the movement of a wolf, or a coyote. So, when the geese see the Border collie, in their mind it triggers a predator-response. Even though the dog has no interest harming the birds—because Border collies are herding dogs, they don’t have any interest in harming when they’re working—in the mind of the goose, it is a wolf, or a coyote, that is present.”

Last week, a Border collie was transported to its new home in the Carillon community.

Ferguson said they have a two-year-old dog named Rosie.

The cost to the church to bring in the Border collie was $5,000.

“One of the problems going into it was it wasn’t budgeted for this year,” Ferguson said. “Our church, we have a memorial fund. … When someone passes away, often they will make a gift to us and say, ‘We want this to be used for something at Carillon.’ This memorial fund has built up a nice reserve for the church.”

The memorial fund has been used in the past to support charities and various causes.

The greens keeper for the golf course is responsible for housing and walking Rosie.

The Links at Carillon—Plainfield intends to pay for the costs of taking care of the dog’s daily needs.

Ferguson said he thinks the partnership between the community and the golf course has been a worthwhile venture.

“Between the golf course and the community, we’re spreading the cost of doing this because we realize the value of it,” he said. “We’re helping them. They’re helping us out. It’s a partnership.”

When asked if he feels it was the church’s place to get involved in addressing the problems with geese noted in the community, Ferguson said they don’t question it.

“We want the people there to know that the church is there, not just for ourselves, but we’re there for the whole community,” Ferguson said. “We’re trying to help the community in every way we can.”


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