Fines and Possible Jail Time Being Proposed; Public Outrage Seen at Recent Hearing Held by NYC Parks Department
The New York City Parks Department held a well-attended public hearing on a potential ban on feeding wildlife in NYC parks on March 1st at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. Before a panel of seven representatives of the city agency, comprised of legal, Urban Park Ranger and other departments, the majority of public comment outlined why the “prohibition” should not be implemented. It is unclear how the Parks Department will make this decision.
A Rally has been called for Tuesday, March 19th from 12-2 p.m. in front of the Parks Department Headquarters at 830 Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, Manhattan to protest this proposed ban.
It seems we are only hearing about this “initiative” due to a directive by the “Wild NYC” department. This agency was formed under Mayor De Blasio. This would seem like a thoughtful idea but can often lead down a road that sounds good ‘on paper’ but, like this one, is not the way to go.
Listening to the public has not been the Parks Department’s strong point. And there already is a rule on the ‘books’ about feeding in parks that is loosely enforced. Nonetheless, maybe they should ask Simcha Felder for advice. His proposed ban on feeding pigeons died a quiet death 12 years ago after loud public outcry.
The Sad Fate of Prospect Park’s Wildlife
Prospect Park previously was home to hundreds of wonderful Canada geese at the 526 acre park with the only lake in Brooklyn. The geese were tragically rounded up and killed in the middle of the night by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 2010 and in subsequent years at this and other NYC parks. Now, there are a small amount of these amazing geese at Prospect Park, and, if any dare linger, these beings are scared away by dogs hired to do so, their eggs “oiled” to prevent baby geese. The wildlife at that park influenced so many and were a delight to witness. Now, little by little, the wildlife keep disappearing, curiously. It is also curious that it was only after the wildlife were disappeared that the algae problem began at Prospect Park lake. There are often causes and effects.
Prospect Park is run by a private entity, the Prospect Park Alliance.
More on the Proposed Wildlife Feeding Ban in NYC Parks
The proposed “prohibition on feeding wildlife” resolution can be viewed here.
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Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
The Killing of the Prospect Park Geese – Part I, July 15, 2010