To the editor:

We at Friends of Animals appreciate the efforts of the Milford Girl Scout troop to educate humans on how to interact with their non-human animal neighbors, in this case not feeding the Canada geese at Duck Pond behind City Hall.

But as is the case with mute swans in Connecticut, once again the Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has missed an opportunity to create a deeper understanding of Canada geese throughout this article; instead they depict them as bothersome and demanding and felt the need to discuss “taking them out.”

Like most waterfowl, during the summer adult Canada geese go through a complete molt, an opportunity for geese to replace their worn, frayed or lost feathers with new ones, so they are unable to fly.

Perhaps it’s bothersome to DEEP officials to educate city officials on removing goose excrement from sidewalks, paths, trails and shortly-mowed lawns, or how to invest in longterm landscape modifications that have been successful in other cities to make the grassy shores of the Duck Pond more usable.

But it’s a small price to pay to ensure our children don’t become completely estranged from wildlife. We need to stop perpetuating the misguided notion there are too many waterfowl, coyotes raccoons, etc. in our midst. The human population in Milford is what’s growing — from 51,271 in 2010 to 52,087 in 2015.

We need to teach our children to appreciate the outdoors and wildlife now more than ever. As good wildlife neighbors, it’s up to us to clean up after birds sometimes rather than expecting them to vanish.

Nicole Rivard