If you are trying to get your kids out of the house and away from the television, the Minnesota state parks and trails have launched a new statewide geocaching challenge. Earth Day 2015, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) unveiled their “Call of the Wildflowers” Challenge. This new challenge is designed to engage the public in learning more about Minnesota’s wildflowers and pollinators while having fun.
“Geocaching is a popular way to explore Minnesota state parks and trails and create unforgettable memories with your family and friends,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division.
Geocaching is all the rage with kids of all ages and no experience is needed. It is a high-tech scavenger hunt that is popular all around the world. Participants use global positioning system (GPS) units to hunt for hidden cache containers. Typically, caches are metal or plastic containers that are hidden in places like hollow logs, making them challenging to find.
For the Call of the Wildflowers Challenge, camouflaged containers are hidden and waiting to be discovered throughout the state – at 74 of Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas and at seven state trails. Each of the newly hidden caches contains a logbook and set of collectible cards featuring color photos of Minnesota wildflowers on one side and facts about the flowers on the other. Cache finders are encouraged to sign the logbook and take a free wildflower card as a souvenir of their visit.
For every 10 or 20 wildflower cards participants collect, they earn a special pollinator card. People can also pick up limited-edition wildflower cards when they attend programs about wildflowers, pollinators or geocaching at Minnesota state parks and trails. The clues to their exact whereabouts are posted on the Department of Natural Resources website, www.mndnr.gov/geocaching. Facebook and tweet about your adventure using #geowildflower.
The Call of the Wildflowers is the fourth statewide geocaching challenge by the Minnesota state parks and trails. Previously delivered were the Geocaching History Challenge, the Geocaching Wildlife Safari and the Geocaching Avian Adventure.
Geocaching “checkpoints” provide free use of GPS units. There are 35 locations that provide GPS units; including Big Stone Lake, Lac qui Parle, Upper Sioux Agency, Fort Ridgely, Camden, Flandreau and Minneopa State Parks.
Attend an interpretive program and you will receive a limited edition wildflower card – there will be a new card featured each year. The ones that are scheduled in our area are listed below.
- June 6 at Minneopa State Park
- June 13 at Lac qui Parle State Park
- July 11 at Upper Sioux Agency State Park
- July 18 at Flandreau State Park
- August 8 at Fort Ridgely State Park and Upper Sioux Agency State Park
- September 5 at Minneopa State Park
Blog post by Peg Furshong, Events & Adventures Coordinator.