Father Goose Memorial – Fort Collins, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Father Goose Memorial

This stone marker honors the man who released Canada goose goslings in Fort Collins, Colorado.  


You don’t have to look hard to find Canada geese wandering around Fort Collins. But that wasn’t always the case.

In 1957, Gurney Crawford, better known as “Father Goose,” introduced a small flock of Canada geese to Northern Colorado. The Colorado Fish and Wildlife Worker acquired eggs from Denver-based geese and used his own hens to incubate them. Then, when the goslings were nine weeks old, he released them at College Lake, located within Colorado State University’s Foothills Campus.

Clearly, his endeavors were successful. The town of Fort Collins is regularly invaded by the descendants of those goslings released decades ago. The returning geese number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

Some are critical of the goose reintroduction due to competing ecological demands, and of course, goose grease (poop) on lawns. But it’s important to remember that when the geese were introduced, there were far fewer people within this part of the state, and as such there were far fewer opportunities for human-animal conflicts.

In 1985, a year after Crawford’s death, a memorial was erected at the university campus to honor his work. It still stands today, a piece of the past hiding in plain sight, waiting for anyone willing to take a gander at it.

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