Of the 17,850 people the article (or at least the headline) reached on Facebook, 111 voiced their opinions — some very strongly.
What was the hot topic? Ashton Hills Golf Course receiving permission from Department of Natural Resources to remove geese from its property by shooting them and receiving permission to discharge those firearms within the city limits.
Most of those comments were as such: “this is disgusting;” “horrible;” “disappointed in Covington;” “ashamed”.
The geese became a nuisance —a costly one — to the golf course, not because they fly in and out as the migration season passes, but because they took up residence. People fed the geese and got them dependent on food in the area. When people stopped feeding the geese, the geese didn’t stop being hungry. So they dug up the grass on Ashton Hills’ greens.
The only choice left of the golf course after exhausting many other measures, according to co-owner Bryan Raines, was to permanently remove the geese.
This ruffled a lot of feathers on social media.
We are glad that as a community, we get passionate about things. But one thing we see so often is that passion flies in and then out. We want those people who voiced their opinion on social media to not just post something and migrate on.
We are firm believers in the freedom of speech. We aim to use that freedom to inform, educate and hold people accountable. The comments on behalf of the dozen geese of Ashton Hills were impassioned. People were focused on change.
That change may be coming. The outcry concerning the termination of the geese on our Facebook page was loud and clear.
It reached the ears of the USDA, who reached out to Ashton Hills, and another option — one other than the dozen already tried by the golf course — has been presented.
We join wholeheartedly with the movement that formed a Go Fund Me account to pay the cost for the USDA’s program: Trim the birds’ flight feathers and then move them more than 100 miles away for relocation.
Now we challenge the scores of people who took a stance on the birds via their keyboards to do the same via their wallets.
We hear time and time again how horrible something is. How a decision isn’t right. We hear over and over from people on social media how they would do it differently. Well, here’s the chance.
If the 100-or-so people who said that Ashton Hills was doing the wrong thing put up just $10 each, then the geese are halfway to a longer life. The same can be said for similar issues.
Why not take action. Social media has been a useful addition to our lives. But the replacement of hard action — activism, volunteerism, charitable donations — by a keyboard has not. We can say all we want and nothing will come of it.
The Go Fund Me account for the Ashton Hills geese, initiated by a resident of Covington Place, a neighborhood near Ashton Hills, provides a chance for action.
It also means that we, as a community, are capable of leading with our hearts and our minds to find a compromise to any problem. It means our voices can be heard and action can be taken to solve a problem, if we are willing to stand behind what we say and type. It means that we don’t have to just complain about things, that we can actually solve problems if we work together.
Now that’s an idea we can flock to.