Green Initiatives

Woodloch Springs Eco-Friendly Goose Deterrents and Lovable Companions

 

Brandy.jpgWoodloch Springs has two four-legged resident employees whose job is a labor of love. Bogey and Brandy, the two hardest working dogs in Hawley, are employed by Woodloch to fend off the bothersome geese during their migratory travel through the area. This preventative method of geese control is ecologically sound. The dogs do not harm the geese, they merely discourage them from settling and nesting on the golf course ponds and wetlands. Bogey and Brandy work mainly during the Spring and Fall months when the geese migrate through the area. The Spring is a particularly critical time, as this is the nesting season. It is mainly in the early morning hours that the dogs can be seen streaking across the golf course, muddy and happy from their fearless guarding of the area’s ponds and wetlands. Golf Course Superintendent Jeff Hugaboom explains what a great job the dogs do. He states “everyone compliments us on how geese-free we are."

 

Bogey and Brandy have been raised and maintained at Woodloch Springs by the golf maintenance department. They go home at night with Golf Course Superintendent Jeff Hugaboom, but return daily to their work space and home. Brandy, a 12 year old English Setter, enjoys retirement most days, but every-so-often she musters the energy to join in the hunt. Bogey, a 5 year old, Britanny Spaniel, who was trained by mimicking Brandy, is now taking over as the full time geese deterrent. They are well loved by the residents, members and employees of Woodloch Springs.

 

Geese are a major problem on many golf courses in the North Eastern United States. The wetlands and low-lying grassy expanses of the golf course are enticing to geese, providing them with feeding, breeding and nesting grounds. The dogs discourage the geese from nesting on the golf course by harassing them. The purpose of the dogs’ job well done is to keep flocks of geese from frequenting the golf course, settling down and growing. Large flocks of geese cause problems with excessive droppings and grazing. They can spread disease, become aggressive when nesting and create a safety hazard for golf course traffic. There are many methods employed to deter geese, some using chemicals and other substances potentially harmful to the geese and the environment. Other deterrent methods include hunting and destruction of nests. Using dogs to harass the geese preventatively is an ecologically sound alternative.

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Woodloch Springs, as part of the Woodloch Resort family, is an institution that is concerned about its environment. The management team of Woodloch Springs continues to look for green alternatives for the maintenance and preservation of their land and business. Some of the green choices made at the Springs include: a new line of eco-friendly recycled clothing available in the Pro-Shop; a Buffer Zone around the natural stream and wetlands to keep fertilizer from contaminating the water; fountains and biological deterrents employed to control algae levels in the ponds; registration with the Audubon Sanctuary Program; and the maintenance of many miles of turf grass, which is the best natural filter keeping pollutants from reaching the water table.