Expert and beginner geocachers alike have the opportunity to set off on a new, exciting adventure during the 2015 Precinct 4 GeoChallenge starting Saturday, March 7.
This free event, sponsored by Harris County Precinct 4, encourages participants to use GPS-enabled technology to find 57 unique geocaches hidden across the precinct with a chance to earn an award in three categories. An increasingly popular recreational activity worldwide, caches are hidden and then their coordinates are listed on a website, such as Geocaching.com, for others to locate.
“With an area over 390 square miles—3,800 acres of which is parkland—Precinct 4 offers a real urban getaway,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. “We hope this gives more people the opportunity to explore our beautiful parks and offers loyal patrons a new interest. Best of all, this is an activity that can be enjoyed by individuals, families and groups from all backgrounds and doesn’t cost users a dime.”
To participate in the Precinct 4 GeoChallenge and access the coordinates for all 57 locations on March 7, geocachers must register on Geocaching.com. Then participants can review each item and locate the geocaches using any GPS-enabled device. A geocaching app is available for download from Geocaching.com.
To enhance the experience for GeoChallenge participants, Precinct 4 partnered with local printer Bottlemark.com to develop unique bottle caps. Each geocache contains a collectible bottle cap and four-digit code, either of which can be redeemed to earn pathtags. Only one bottle cap from each location is allowed per Geocaching.com username. Those who collect 20, 40 or all 57 unique bottle caps or codes can earn bronze, silver or gold-level pathtags featuring the Precinct 4 logo.
“This just adds to the many recreational activities we offer in Precinct 4,” said Cagle. “Geocaching is a great family friendly activity that combines technology and nature. It’s one of the many ways we can foster a love of nature in children and adults, and provide an environmentally friendly, low-cost recreational activity for the public.”
Since 2000, with more accurate GPS technology available to the public, geocachers have been hiding small prizes for participants to find and log, eventually forming a community of geocachers who interact online. Now one of the most popular geocaching sites, Geocaching.com, has more than 10 million registered users and more than 2.5 million geocaches in over 180 countries. The GeoChallenge caches are located throughout Precinct 4 from Greens Bayou Wetland Mitigation Bank in the east to Dyess Park in the west and Burroughs Park in the north and Memorial Park in the south.
For more information, please visit thePrecinct 4 GeoChallenge webpage atwww.hcp4.net/community/parks/geochallenge. To claim a prize, either mail your completed passport with all necessary contact information or hand-deliver your passport and/or bottle caps to the Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Office, located within Dennis Johnston Park at 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring, TX 77373.