Tags: Community & Outreach
Caches have either pieces of paper or a small notebook for logging in who has found the cache in the past, and how long ago it was found. Erica O'Neal. (click for larger version)
August 05, 2014JOHNS CREEK, Ga. Geocaching is an international continuous treasure hunt that everyone can be a part of, and that includes Johns Creek.
Just before summer came into full swing, Johns Creek created geocaching locations in their parks in May. Four parks in Johns Creek now have geocaching locations, including Autrey Mill Nature Preserve, Newtown Park, Ocee Park and Shakerag Park.
To participate, all a person needs is a GPS or a smartphone with the app. There are also coordinates for caches online at geocaching.com.
A typical cache is a plastic box with some tokens inside that can be taken as a souvenir, but protocol requires the finder to leave something in its place so that the next person will have something to find.
Kirk Franz, recreation manager of Johns Creek, said that geocaching is good for getting people to pay attention to specific areas.
"In Shakerag Park, we put geocaches in the newer section of the park along the nature trail to draw attention to it," Franz said.
Even though the city added geocaches, people can add their own caches to the treasure hunt as well. So there are some caches that the city manages and some that members of the community manage themselves.
It's free to participate and the caches are available to find year-round during open hours in the parks.
"It's a great way for kids to be outside with their parents and it's something they can get excited about as they explore the parks," Franz said.
Franz said placing geocache locations in Johns Creek parks was an easy activity for the city to add. It's a fun activity for parents to do with their kids, but it's up to the parents to determine what age is safe for children to geocache on their own.
Rachel Habberfield and Darina Zapryanova are college students from Alpharetta who heard about geocaching in Johns Creek parks. They explored around the parks and found a couple of geocaches.
"I had heard about geocaching before as an activity, but I had never been personally. My experience doing it in Johns Creek was fun, adventurous and informative, considering it was my first time," said Habberfield.
Zapryanova had heard about geocaching during her freshman year of college at the University of West Georgia (UWG).
"I prefer a park setting best for geocaching. It's fun to do with friends, but sometimes you have to be discreet around popular caches, because the next cacher might be around the corner and you don't want to spoil it for them," said Zapryanova.
If a cache can't be found, cachers can mark the location as missing online or on the geocaching app so others know.
Families and friends who wish to participate in geocaching can do so any time by visiting geocaching.com for information.