Scout Uses Grapefruit Juice as Solution to a Problem Plaguing His Community

Grapefruit juice isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Take your average Canada goose, for instance. When it comes to grapefruit juice, these geese aren’t big fans.

Scout Uses Grapefruit Juice Spray as Solution to a Problem Plaguing His Community
Scout Makeyta T. applies the grapefruit juice spray. (photo: Ben Quiggle, Elkhart Truth)

Luckily for the community of Elkhart, Indiana, which was overrun with geese, it was an ingenious Scout looking for a unique Eagle Scout project who came up with a grapefruit juice solution to their geese problem.

Each summer the parks in Elkhart became a popular spot for the flocks of geese to spend large amount of time. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for residents to enjoy the parks.

Clyde Riley, Elkhart Parks and Recreation Department superintendent, explained the problem.

“They leave feces all over some parks and it just doesn’t look good and isn’t sanitary,” he said. “We have had no reports of anyone being injured by the geese, but we have had some reports of them being aggressive. With small children trying to enjoy the parks, that is cause for concern on our part.”

A solution to address the geese problem was proving difficult to find. Some other nearby communities had, in the past, resorted to exterminating hundreds of geese, a tactic which had understandably drawn ire from several people, both within the community and externally.

For the residents of Elkhart, exterminating the geese wasn’t an option they wanted to select.

That’s when the city turned to a local Scout.

Scout Makeyta T., of the Boy Scouts of America Lasalle Council, was looking for a unique Eagle Scout project, and he certainly found one. Makeyta began working with Riley and spent several days carefully studying the bird populations at the local parks. He watched their behavior and what drew them to the parks.

Through additional research, Makeyta and Riley discovered that they might have a solution. Grapefruit juice.

The secret to the grapefruit juice was really no secret at all. It’s bitter. So when it is applied to the grass that the geese eat, the geese are repelled by that bitterness, and they look for another place to eat grass. By creating a spray from the grapefruit juice and applying it to the grass at the local parks, Makeyta had created a natural, harmless geese repellant.

The grapefruit juice spray lasts for approximately two weeks on the grass, but by that time, the geese are conditioned to go elsewhere, leaving the parks cleaner for the residents of the community.

To learn more about this unique Eagle Scout project, be sure to read the full story in The Elkhart Truth.

To learn more about the positive impact that Scouting can have on young people like Makeyta, be sure to check out this article on the recent Tufts study, and watch this video:


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