Severe Budget Cuts Visit Prospect Park

05/26/2011 9:49 AM |

This wont happen again this year

  • This won’t happen again this year

The majority of Prospect Park’s educational programs will be slashed because of budget cuts, the Prospect Heights Patch reports. Over the coming school year, school programs at the Lefferts House and the Audubon Center will be suspended, and many educational and part-time staffers at those locations will be laid off. Adults wishing to visit the Lefferts House will now have to pay a “modest admission charge”.

Children learn things in the park from things they can’t experience anywhere else, the Windsor Terrace blog explains. “I’m guessing that all the local schools will all be affected by this,” a local PTA president told Patch.

Also on the chopping block is Macy’s annual fishing competition, which last year drew 3,500 people, the Brooklyn Paper reports. Many of its readers (the “goose” crowd) wish the contest good riddance, and are incensed that the paper would write sentimentally about it. Writes one:

I am shocked that the Brooklyn Paper, which normally has a good reputation for being pro-wildlife, would publish an article that promotes cruelty to wildlife. Fishing is not only torture for the fish, but it is harmful and often deadly to waterfowl and turtles who become entangled (and sometimes strangled) in line left behind (in spite of the fact that FIDO has provided receptacles for the safe disposal of fishing paraphernalia), and impaled by illegal barbed hooks used by MANY fisherman.

“Although one can realistically expect that at least some percentage of cows and pigs are slaughtered with speed and care, no fish gets a good death,” Jonathan Safran Foer writes in Eating Animals. “Not a single one. You never have to wonder if the fish on your plate had to suffer. It did.”

Prospect Park still has the money, it should be noted, to hire dogs to chase geese.


4 Comment

  • Bravo to L Magazine for telling it like it is regarding the wildlife torment, harassment and exterminations occurring in our public parks.

    Good riddance to the Macy’s fishing contest is right.

    Some of us are sick of seeing egrets, geese and swans with entangled fishing line around their beaks and feet. I have witnessed two geese completely crippled by these lines, hobbling around on one leg.

    I have also seen turtles hooked by fisherman who didn’t know how to get the turtles off the hooks.

    And of course, all the tormented fish, who half dead are thrown back in the water or given away dead to small kids passing by.

    Disgusting, all of it.

    Indeed, the only “good news” wildlife has had this year is the cancellation of the fish tormenting contest.

    Now, that we could only get rid of the goose harassment and extermination programs.

    When are we humans ever going to learn to live PEACEFULLY with nature??!

  • “Prospect Park still has the money, it should be noted, to hire dogs to chase geese.” Ha, good point. Thanks L

  • I think it is very sad and misguided that PP has money to chase beautiful wildlife away from the park but not money to invest in the future – as Windsor Terrace states ‘children learn things in a park they can’t learn anywhere else’; especially children who may rarely have the opportunity to get out of the city and experience nature anywhere other than a city park.

    You don’t have to force kids to learn anything in a park; they are curious and interested in everything and enthralled with the wildlife – especially these large beautiful and social Canada geese who are excellent role models for humans demonstrating perfect loyalty and commitment to their mates and children.

    PP has it’s budget priorities badly skewed. Keep the geese, save the money, keep the educational programs and the children.

  • Thank you to Henry Stewart for an excellent piece! I have found waterfowl and other birds impaled on illegal barbed hooks and entangled in fishing line, and I know of someone who recently found a dead painted turtle, strangled by fishing line. The other day, while walking my dog in the park, a friend and I saw a line sticking out of the water ( At the end of it was a poor catfish, struggling to get away. When we examined him, we saw that he had swallowed the (more than likely barbed) hook. If we had attempted to pull it out, we would have yanked out his insides. We just cut the line with the hope that, maybe, he would have a chance to survive. Sadly, he sank to the bottom and was likely not going to make it. I am one who feels fishing should be banned in public parks. There are so many other – better- ways for people to interact with wildlife that don’t include torture and killing.