Lucie the Brant Goosie is back in Parksville reminding fellow residents

Beaches in Parksville Qualicum Beach region a no-go zone for dogs starting March 1

It's part of an effort to put less stress on the Brant geese that are here for the herring run

With the 24th annual Brant Festival starting next week, Parksville Mayor Chris Burger is urging residents to practice proper dog ownership etiquette starting March 1.

Burger is asking residents to make sure dogs stay off the beach during Brant Festival; and if they do come for a walk along the boardwalk to make sure dogs are on a leash. Additionally, dog owners are asked to clean up after their canines.

“Our shoreline is a buffet of epic proportions,” said Burger, starring out into the ocean at Parksville Beach. “We need to ensure that birds are able to feed properly without interference from dogs.”

Burger said city bylaw officials will be patrolling the beaches looking unleashed dogs during the festival and people will be ticketed for their offences.

“I’d like to ask people to contact the City to report any issues regarding unleashed dogs,” said Burger, adding that people should not take matters into their own hands, instead they should contact the City directly.

Historically, Burger said dogs have not been a major nuisance during the festival and it is important to keep it that way.

“All pets should be on a leash all the time at the beach,” said Burger. “But it is especially critical during this sensitive time of the year.”

Burger said if we disrupt the feeding environment of migratory birds they will relocate.

“This is an extremely important time of the year for birds,” said Burger. “And it’s one of my personal favorite times of the year — it reminds me of what a wild place we live in, it’s truly spectacular.”

The Brant Festival will host a variety of different events and activities starting March 1. Below is an informal guide to the second week of the festival (refer to our Feb.13 issue to see the first week’s agenda). For more information, and a full life of activities, visit the Brant Festival  website at http://www.brantfestival.bc.ca.

Wildlife Photography Workshop for Kids: Kids will learn how to photograph wildlife.Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parksville Museum and Archives at Craig Heritage Park. Ages 8 to 15, with an adult. $5 per child. Pre-register at reception@parksvillemuseum.ca

Herring Spawn/Wildlife Tour: Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours will lead a bus tour to view herring spawn and coastal wildlife. Sunday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $25 per person. Pre-register by calling 250-248-3667 or e-mailing mail@rainforestnaturehikes.com

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