This season there has been an increased presence of geese at Credit Valley. Although they are an enjoyable sight at times, the damage that they create through their excrement is unwelcome. The Greens Department staff check and clean up the areas where the geese frequent first thing each morning.
In southern Ontario, geese find an area to begin nesting in late March or early April. Unfortunately, this year this led to them establishing a home during the early stages of the pandemic. With far less staff, golfers and four-legged furry friends in their midst compared to normal, the golf course quickly became a comfortable habitat. Dutchie, my faithful sidekick, has been hard at work. When the opportunity is right, he gives them a bark of encouragement to move onwards.
Unfortunately, once geese have established a nest and laid their eggs, relocation is far more difficult. This season there were close to a dozen goslings on the property. Soon after the goslings are born the adults begin the moulting stage, where they lose the ability to fly for four to six weeks. This creates an even more difficult situation for relocation because their mobility is limited. Now that they have completed this stage and have regained their ability to fly, they are beginning to leave the property more consistently.
Continued management through this season and years to come in a more frequent interaction will reduce the favourability for nesting and habitats. I am cautiously optimistic that repeated reminders will help the geese realize it is time to move on to greener pastures sooner than later.
Trees and Ongoing Maintenance
Through the year it is typical to see a wide range of weather events that can cause destruction to trees, the most frequent culprit being wind. After these events are done, we are always taking extra precautions and looking for possible hanging and loose limbs. Assessment and monitoring are an integral part of maintaining our existing tree population. In the fall, we utilize our resources and the observations gathered through the season to prune a significant portion of the trees. This pruning process is imperative for improved safety, with the removal of deceased limbs, and for tree health.
On July 19, we lost two trees on the property in a significant wind event and on the July 20, a large limb fell from a neighbouring property onto the 3rd hole.
A large portion of a black walnut behind the 15th green was lost in the wind too. Unfortunately, the damage to the tree was too significant, and for safety, a full removal was required.
These are a few examples of the destruction nature can bring and the need to seek shelter in inclement weather.
Continuing our careful monitoring and management of trees for safety, health and playability will not eliminate all risks, but will help to significantly reduce the frequency of these events.