Mayo Clinic helps net a solution to the downtown crow issue

Devin Martin
Updated: February 19, 2021 10:22 PM
Created: February 19, 2021 09:07 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- If you live or work in downtown Rochester, you may have noticed some nets hanging on trees. 

But why are they there?

The city says it's to help stop the crows from leaving their droppings downtown. 

"This is definitely not a new problem. I was surprised with how much experience Mayo and the city has with this,” Karli McElroy, senior director of place making for the Rochester Downtown Alliance said. 

So the latest possible solution is canopy nets, paid for by Mayo Clinic.
One is by The Half Barrel bar and restaurant, the other is by the Old City Hall.

The netting is supposed to discourage the crows from congregating and dropping their little gifts on the sidewalk below. 

They were placed here because Rochester Downtown Alliance Members noticed this is where crows gather the most.

"The canopy netting they have found over the years have worked the best to mitigate the issues on the sidewalks that crows leave behind. We know these two nets are not going to solve the issue but we're really just testing out this concept to see how well it works,” McElroy said.

Karli says the city is trying to fix this problem, the cheapest way possible.

"Downtown is a place for everybody, these public spaces belong to everyone. Our job is to make them as welcoming and as safe and clean as possible. Just know that everyone that's working on this specific issue is doing their best,” McElroy said.

For one Mayo Clinic employee, she's glad the canopy nets got installed because most days she’s dodging the crow droppings just walking to work.

 "It's a mess trying to walk to work through it. I think it's not only going to be appealing to employees but to the patients coming to the clinic. You know, just keeping things more clean and hopefully it keeps those birds away,” Katie Tiedtke said.

John Eckerman also works downtown. He says he's glad the city is trying something different.

"I don't know if they're going to work, but I think it's great to try something different. I think the crows have been a menace to downtown for a long time. This year, walking around here, it's kind-of scary in certain points of the day. I hope it works and I hope they keep trying to limit the number of crows downtown,” Eckerman said. 

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