COMOX VALLEY – What do you get when you bring together treasure hunting, wireless devices, parks and the internet? How about 100 different reasons to get outdoors this summer?
BC Parks and the Geocaching Association of B.C. have placed 100 geocaches in parks around B.C., with prizes for those who find them first. A geocache is a hidden container found with the help of Global Positioning System technology.
The search begins online, with geocaching websites providing coordinates that players can program into their GPS devices. Coordinates for the 100 geocaches will be posted online on June 26 (see Learn More for web addresses).
Each cache contains a stash of stickers, pins and other collectables, along with three specially-designed BC Parks 100 coins. Parks staff and members of the Geocaching Association will kick things off at Miracle Beach this Sunday with information and demonstrations for those who may be new to the pastime.
With the advent of smart phones and other mobile technologies, geocaching has become increasingly popular. According to the website geocaching.com, there are more than 1.4 million active geocaches in existence and approximately five million geocachers worldwide.
In B.C., the 100 geocaches program is the latest in a series of special events and activities taking place this summer as part of the BC Parks centennial celebration. B.C.\’s first provincial park – Strathcona on Vancouver Island – was established in March 1911.
- Geocaching has been encouraged in BC parks since 2008. It\’s recognized as a low-impact, healthy activity that can be managed safely, even in protected areas.
- The basic guidelines for placing caches in BC parks include:
- The cache must be accessible from established trails or approved travel routes.
- It must not disturb the natural environment, including soil.
- It cannot be left for more than three years.
- The special BC Parks 100 coin was produced at no cost to taxpayers. It was funded through a partnership with the B.C. Camping and RV Coalition.
- Parking fees were eliminated from B.C. parks on May 3 to help make them more accessible and inviting to families.
- The Province has also launched a $500,000 Community Legacy Program to fund improvements to parks across B.C. and a BC Parks Passport Program offering rewards for visiting parks this summer.
- Learn more about geocaching – and get the coordinates for the 100 geocaches in B.C. parks at: www.bcgeocaching.com/
- Explore the world of camping opportunities available in B.C. at: www.campingrvbc.com/
- Find out more about BC Parks 100 celebrations at: www.bcparks.ca
- Connect with BC Parks on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks
Ministry of Environment
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