Danville Residents Happy to Still Feed Geese

Danville, VA - Danville city council had been considering an ordinance to ban feeding geese on city owned parks and trails, but some residents are against the proposal.

When it was brought up at Tuesday night's meeting no one put it into motion, so the ordinance never even came into a vote. For now, that means it is still lawful to feed the geese.

"We enjoy it as much for us as we do for them," said Karen Hudgins, a Danville resident.

Feeding the ducks and geese along the Danville Riverwalk trails has become more than a hobby for Hudgins. For the past decade, her daily dose of duck feeding has turned into a part of her life

"It's something I look forward to and my doctor says it's the best thing I can do for stress, it's a good stress release. My blood pressure stays better, my cholesterol is better and the ducks are being fed. We all benefit from it," said Hudgins.

So, when she heard about the proposed city ordinance to ban feeding waterfowl, she couldn't hold in the emotions.

"It broke my heart. I prayed about it," said Hudgins.

The week's council meeting brought her a lot of relief.

"I was just thankful. We can still feed our babies," said Hudgins.

"I'm happy that the other councilmen and we all decided to listen to the people. I think it is a victory for the people in the city," said Councilman Lee Vogler.

Vogler has been adamantly against the ban since the start. And he has heard a lot of feedback. More than 300 people contacted him and only 10 have been for the ban.

"I think it would have been extremely unpopular and a significantly bad PR move for the city," said Vogler.

Even officials from the Danville Humane Society weighed in against the ordinance.

"It's just nice for us to have a natural connection. Help us to remember that maybe we are really sharing the earth with other creatures," said Paulette Dean, the executive director.

As for Hudgins, she let her "babies" know right away what happened in the council meeting.

"I said 'Baby, momma is back!'" said Hudgins.

Technically, the ban could come up again, but Vogler says he can't imagine it would. He says a majority of people simply do not want it.