On the eve of tonight’s vigil for the 290 Canadian geese slaughtered by federal officials last week, Prospect Park Administrator Tupper Thomas finally broke her silence.
But the park boss didn’t respond to our week’s worth of questions, but issued a statement to “Friends of Prospect Park.”
Since we’re “friends,” we got the statement, and pass it along to you now, unedited:
Dear Friends of Prospect Park:
The recent culling of Canada Geese in Prospect Park is disturbing to many people, including staff at the Park. That people care so passionately about the Park and its natural environment and speak out in its defense is truly wonderful and very welcomed.
The Canada Geese were removed from the Park late last week and euthanized as part of a joint US Department of Agriculture, Port Authority and City of New York program to reduce the geese population near the flight paths of area airports. Prospect Park is one of a number of parks and locations chosen by the City of New York to be included in this program.
Prospect Park is a public, New York City park and is administered in accordance with City, State and Federal regulations and policies. However many Park users have contacted us in recent days about what can be done in the future to avoid this situation.
The staff at Prospect Park, both the Alliance and the Parks Department, recognize that we are the stewards of this amazing greenspace and public resource. Over the years we have undertaken extensive restoration of the Park’s natural areas and watercourse to provide wildlife with hundreds of acres of healthy habitat. We have a wonderful natural resources crew who work year round to keep the habitat healthy and a staff of naturalists at our Audubon Center who educate thousands of young people annually about the importance of wildlife.
To provide the best ongoing ecological care of our habitat, the Park will be forming a wildlife management taskforce comprised of experts in the field. This will strengthen the Alliance and Parks Department’s commitment to safeguarding both nature and people.
Prospect Park is one of many city, state and federally managed parks in the metropolitan area and holistic stewardship of the regional ecology is important. Prospect Park is our park – thankfully many of you consider it your park — and with your help, we can continue to work together to ensure Prospect Park remains healthy and beautiful.
Prospect Park Administrator/Prospect Park Alliance President
The vigil for the gassed geese will be today, July 17, at the gazebo on Prospect Park lake (near the entrance at Prospect Park Southwest and Vanderbilt Street in Prospect Park) at 6:30 pm. Check the “For the Love of the Geese in Prospect Park” Facebook page for info.