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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:08 PM
61 posts, read 65,553 times
Reputation: 37


Hey guys,

So what is up with all of the dead fish and goose droppings at Italian Lake in Harrisburg? It looks like it could be a beautiful place to take a walk, but those two things are such a deterrent! Does anyone take care of the park? Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:36 PM
Location: Philadelphia
273 posts, read 206,662 times
Reputation: 734
According to the city’s Parks and Playgrounds page, Italian Lake is a city park. I would imagine that park maintenance would flourish and wither in proportion to the city’s Parks and Recreation budget.

As to geese: They’re a widespread problem throughout much of the East in parks, golf courses, suburban developments with ponds...nearly anywhere there’s a body of water and some green space. I lived in Harrisburg about a decade ago, and at that time, goose droppings were a constant problem along the pathway in Riverfront Park paralleling Front Street. That was my favorite place to go biking, and I was constantly dodging piles the geese had left behind.

Regarding the fish: I encountered an incredible number of dead fish around a small lake at another place where I used to bike regularly (John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge - just outside of Philadelphia). I asked a friend of a friend—someone with some education in wetland biology—and he said that it’s common for a sudden algae bloom to essentially “suffocate” a population of fish by consuming the oxygen they need to survive as the algae decomposes.

But I think the bottom line is that both an algae bloom (or other causes of a massive fish kill) and an overpopulation of geese would be the result of larger environmental issues that are a bit beyond the capabilities of one small city’s Parks and Rec department to solve. I’m not an expert on either environmental science or biology, but I tend to think that a wide-ranging regional effort would be needed to combat the root causes of these problems. I’m not sure how effective small clean-up efforts would be.

I can certainly commiserate about it being a deterrent, though. I remember trying to clean goose guano off my bike tires before loading my bike into the back of my car...yech.

Last edited by briantroutman; 02-27-2018 at 08:57 PM..
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