Friday, April 13, 2012

Geocaching in the Kennebecasis Watershed

It is so easy to occupy your mind and soul when playing outdoors.  There is never a lack of something to do.  Not long ago though there was someone who cleverly created a link between technology and the outdoors.  You can have the best of both worlds, unless of course you'd rather sit on the couch.   Geocaching blends gaming and internet technology with an outdoor treasure hunt and luckily for me I've been able to mesh that into my job as well. 
Everyone likes a treasure hunt whether you're young or old.  It being the Wednesday before Easter many of you are probably right now gearing up for one of the biggest treasure hunts of the year.  Imagine if someone hid your favorite Easter treats all over Kings County and provided you with the coordinates on how to get there.  All you have to do is follow the electronic pointer (GPS) and get close.  From there put your senses to work to locate the treat.  How can't you find that fun?
Geocaches are diverse.  They range in size from the size of your pinky to the size of your head and contain a wide array of little trinkets or treasures.  You can find them in many locations such as streetscapes or deep forested ravines.  This diversity broadens the appeal of geocaching to a wide audience and it was this wide audience that the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee wanted to tap into.
The Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee (KWRC) has created a number of geocaches.  They contain information on healthy living and on ecosystem health.  There are five KWRC geocaches, one for each sub-watershed, and each provides educational information on different topics.  They also contain a customized, non-trackable, wooden geocoin.  A geocoin, for those that regularly geocache, is a collectible.  The KWRC geocoins are chronologically numbered and dated.  The KWRC will use the numbered coins as a way to award players.  If they check the KWRC website, which is found on the geocoins, they will be encouraged to "Like" their Facebook page.  Through this action they might win some prizes through random draws conducted by the KWRC but only if they possess the geocoin that matches the number drawn.

Geocaching with the KWRC is a great activity that provides you the possibility to win free stuff, the chance to see some great landscapes, and an excellent form of exercise, all while learning.  For the KWRC it provides the environmental non-profit group with increased exposure to a broad audience and educates them on how through conserving and protecting our natural ecosystems we can all live a healthier life, while actually encouraging them to get off the couch.
         If this doesn't get you itching to be outdoors, how about the fact that fishing season is upon us?  The season will likely be early this year so you don't want to wait to long before getting on the water.  More than likely I'll be telling fish stories soon here in my column.

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