A great way to celebrate Soil and Water Conservation Week is to get out to a nearby state park and go geocaching.
Geocaching is a real life treasure hunt where participants use a GPS unit or a smart phone with a GPS application to locate a hidden container or “cache.” Participants upload a specific set of coordinates to their GPS device and follow it to the destination. In most cases the caches contain various “rewards” and a logbook to record your discovery.
ILF’s sister program Water Rocks! has an extensive geocache program set up throughout Iowa. With 40+ geocaches in 13 state parks, Water Rocks! has a unique, and one of the most wide spread, geocaching experiences in the state.
Inside each Water Rocks! cache are conservation tips, trivia, and information about our water resources here in Iowa. There are also fun facts about the surrounding area where the geocaches are hidden. Also, each cache has a map printed on the inside and a QR-code that takes you to a digital pirate map with all of the coordinates that you can download.
If you are new to geocaching or have never tried the activity, I challenge you to give it a try. Water Rocks! geocaching is an addictive and gratifying experience that lets you enjoy Iowa’s beautiful state parks. To get your adventure started, visit www.waterrocks.org and click on the “Join the Treasure Hunt” tab to pull up the Iowa treasure map. Click on any of the 13 X’s and see what’s hidden in your state parks.