Manatee Natural Resources hosts geocache hunt at preserves
Participants may take GPS-enabled devices to find geo-treasures at 10 locations across Manatee
Manatee County Natural Resources Department will launch new Taking Flight GeoTour through Manatee County’s preserve system Monday, Aug. 20.
Participants will use their GPS devices to find hidden “geocaches” throughout Manatee County’s publicly owned preserves. Each geocache location has an educational focus and the entire tour itself is themed around birds, their habits, and habitats. Melissa Cain Nell, NRD Volunteer and Education Division Manager, described the tour as a high-tech treasure hunt in some of Manatee County’s most beautiful locations.
“As trail trekkers travel to each point on the tour they will learn about Manatee County’s unique feathered creatures and discover different aspects of bird life such as migration and nesting,” Cain Nell said. “The GeoTour spans all of Manatee County, from the beach on Anna Maria Island all the way east to Duette Preserve. In between, geocachers can find caches at 10 different conservation properties, three of which are currently undergoing restoration.”
The geotour is free and easy. All you’ll need is a GPS locator or GPS-enabled device like a smart phone. You’ll also need a copy of a free Taking Flight GeoTour Passport available at the NRD office at 415 10th St. W., Bradenton. The passports are also available on the county website at this link.
“The first 300 people who complete at least 12 of the 15 caches on the passport will receive a free trackable geotag that they can then place in another cache and track as it travels around the world,” Cain Nell said. “Once you answer the questions on your passport, turn it in or mail it in to the office to receive your tracking tag.”
Participants can also just hunt for the caches without completing the activities by looking them up on Geocaching.com, but they won’t receive a tracking tag.
The trail’s Grand Opening will take place on Monday, Aug. 20, when the cache sites will go “live” on the Geocaching.com and will officially be available for people to find. The caches themselves can be looked up on geocacing.org or can be seen on the official County webpage at this link
The County page also features an interactive Google map with all of the cache coordinates, downloadable copies of the passport, basic geocaching information, and news and updates about the new project.
The Taking Flight GeoTour is sponsored by Manatee County Natural Resources Department, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.
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