Meeker's Magic, a fertilizer created in the past few years by former Ottawa resident Mike Meeker and his wife Sharon, was spread across a 75ft-by-75ft grassy area on Petrie Island Sept. 14.
"A lot of cities are trying to find a solution and we could be at the forefront with this idea," said Orléans Councillor Bob Monette
Before they applied the fertilizer, Meeker and City of Ottawa staff first cleared the grass of geese excrement. This way, they would be able to monitor if the geese had returned.
"There's no question (the geese) knew it was there and didn't like it," said Meeker, who drove from his fish farm near Manitoulin Island to Orléans with a bag of his product for the city to try.
He said they waited and watched the geese for more than half an hour and observed a group of geese walking near the test patch, but when startled, skirted towards, but around it.
Meeker said the product is so safe he tells parents their children "could roll around in it and be fine." He said the product delivers three times more nitrogen and double the phosphorus to the soil than other fertilizers on the market. But more surprising for his customers was the discovery that it warded off pests, from slugs to raccoons.
And this is what drew Ottawa area resident Alex Blair's attention to the product. Learning of its effectiveness, he was compelled to share the news with Councillor Monette.
"Thanks to the leadership of Bob Monette, and his quick response and affirmative action on this very serious health problem, I believe we are well on the way to solving the issue," Blair said.
The product is odourless and would cost significantly less than paying city park workers to continuously shoo the birds away. Currently, Meeker's Magic is sold by volume, at about $14.99 per 40-litre bag.
Monette said the city will likely test the product across Petrie Island's beach area next summer, to see how often the product needs to be applied and in what quantity.