Logan McGuire and his kindergarten buddies came up with the perfect way to get rid of the pesky geese and ducks that troll around the Mill Pond in downtown Brighton.
“Coyote cutouts are a solution to the duck and geese problems in Brighton since the coyotes scare the birds,” McGuire and his friends wrote on a poster they shared with the Brighton City Council on Wednesday. The children also drew coyotes on other posters they showed the council members and their special guests, including Brighton Area Schools Superintendent Greg Gray.
The council called a special meeting to give nearly 60 Explorer Camp children an opportunity to share their ideas on how to make downtown Brighton a better place. City Manager Nate Geinzer, known only as Citizen X to the audience, asked the children to come up with the ideas and invited them to present to council.
The Mill Pond area has struggled with unsightly geese and duck droppings for years.
The children made their presentation about a month after surveying city residents and workers and businesses. They sketched problem areas, took photos and notes, and collected information during their research.
For about 30 minutes, the children focused on cleaning up the Mill Pond, recycling and bicycle paths. They also probably learned a thing or two about city government since they had to witness or participate in council meeting procedures, including the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call, two calls to the public for comments and the motion to adjourn.
Instead of feeding the ducks, the kindergarteners encouraged the council to ask residents to love the ducks and geese, look at them with binoculars, take pictures or sing and dance with them, or draw pictures of the ducks on sidewalks with chalk.
The children also designed recycling bins and committed themselves to raising $4,000 to buy bins and bicycle racks for the downtown. They have placed coin jars in businesses and even asked council members what they would do any leftover money. Mayor Jim Muzzin assured the children that the city would find a way to spend the leftover funds.
“They were absolutely wonderful ideas,” Muzzin said after the presentations. “It’s great to see the young people get involved.”
Gray was impressed with the students even before they made their presentations.
“I feel like a proud father today,” he said. “I’m happy we have great staff and great students.”
Contact Livingston Daily business reporter Noe Hernandez at 517-552-2854 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @sayyesnoe or on Facebook.