Keeping that field clean

A concrete example to remember the four generic risk response strategies: avoid, mitigate, transfer, and accept

Keeping that field clean

Nearby sits a grass field where for years flocks of geese have landed to eat plants. As a kid, I sometimes ran through the field of geese to see them fly away all at once. It feels surreal to be surrounded left, right, forward, and above by large, flapping birds.

Eat your heart out, IMAX.

Unfortunately, the geeseā€™s landings doubled as their toilet stop. Since there were too few of us kids to disturb the geese recurrently or stop them from landing in the first place, the geese pooped all over the field frequently. You really had to watch where you step.

How would you keep the field clean, so that sports teams could practice there without dirtying their shoes?

One $40 solution deters geese from landing in the first place: get a fake coyote. Ever since the groundskeepers installed one to preside motionlessly, spookily over the field, I have not seen a single goose.

This response falls somewhere between avoidance and transference, two of the four generic risk response strategies. The field will stay clean if no geese land (avoid), but the geese will still land and poop on some other field (transfer).

Other possible solutions include cleaning the field (mitigate) or everyone resigning themselves to dirty shoes (accept). I suspect the groundskeepers tired of these.

The fake coyote in place, the sports teams now practice cleanly. I hope the geese do not mind.


Does the fake coyote have to scare multiple geese for the flock not to land, or is it enough to just scare the first goose in the flying V? Please reach out with any thoughts.

Header photo by HARSH TANK / Unsplash