Emotional crowd packs MetroParks meeting

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday was the first Mill Creek MetroParks Board of Trustees meeting since a controlled Canada geese kill last month.

More than 100 people packed the meeting room at the Davis Education Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens, where park police were needed for crowd control. Last month, park officials in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture euthanized 238 Canada geese in various areas of the park.

Some people were outraged at the mass killing, while others understood the park’s decision. Emotions ran high on both sides of the issue at Monday’s meeting.

“I was so heartbroken and I am so opposed to what happened. And we are sincere in our plea,” Candice Sinistro Larocca said.

“I was fully supportive of the board’s activity and I think it was a very difficult decision, but I think it was necessary to keep the park experience good for all visitors,” Rick Shale said.

Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Dennis Miller said the geese euthanasia was a last resort for the park.

“This was a very difficult decision and we understand how passionate people are about wildlife in Mill Creek Park. And it’s unfortunate that it got to this level,” Miller said.

Even Laura Graber from the ODNR said the 238 geese that were euthanized was higher than they had expected.

“I was a little surprised to a degree, but it’s whatever is here on the day of the roundup gets removed,” Graber said.

Park leaders said they have multiple goose population controls in place, including: education, campaigns and pyrotechnics.

Miller said those efforts will continue.

ODNR said permits for mass euthanizations of geese are common, and this was not the first or last time a permit would be given by the state.

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