The Grand Forks deer problem was front and centre at the Jan. 22 school board meeting.
According to School District 51 Secretary-Treasurer Jeanette Hanlon, student health was potentially at risk.
In her report to the board, Hanlon stated, “I want to bring to the attention of the board that the deer in Grand Forks are providing a problem on school grounds. We did try to address the problem with utilizing bus drivers to pick up the deer droppings. It was somewhat effective. If we don’t come up with a solution our grounds will become totally useless for sports and other events.”
The extent of the problem was made clear in the report.
“During a soccer tournament this fall the problem became most evident. We had the ball as well as students covered in the droppings. This is not a healthy situation and will need to be addressed. The deer droppings are also being tracked into the schools. While we could make indoor shoes mandatory at all schools and build a place for shoe storage at the door, this would not address the health and field usage issues involved. This solution would only address the tracking inside the building but not the grounds themselves.”
Board members agreed that Hanlon’s observations were troubling and that action was required.
Board Chair Teresa Rezansoff was authorized to write letters expressing the board’s concern to the City of Grand Forks and to all provincial government authorities with a mandate to control or manage wildlife, as well as those authorities concerned with the health and welfare of children.
Various board members expressed hope that a solution could be developed before spring when the school grounds would once again attract deer in large numbers.