Swaner EcoCenter prepares for autumn geocaching | ParkRecord.com

Swaner EcoCenter prepares for autumn geocaching

The Swaner EcoCenter is gearing up for autumn geocaching sessions that will start on Saturday, Sept. 28. Adults, kids and groups will be able to find items such as this painted treasure chest that will be filled with different items. (Photo courtesy of the Swaner EcoCenter)

The Swaner EcoCenter and preserve will start up its autumn geocaching sessions that will run every other Saturday, beginning on Sept. 28, between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

These sessions will be handled a little differently than those held in the summer.

"In the past, we’ve had volunteers lead the groups on the courses, but once people have done it, they don’t need to be led again," said Sally Tauber, Swaner EcoCenter and Preserve’s director of business development. "So this time, we’ll take people out and give them the coordinates and send them on their way.

"If they’re really fast, they’ll only take 45 minutes to an hour to go through the course," she said. "As they come back to the EcoCenter to return the GPS devices, we’ll hand them out to a second group."

The whole idea is to make the geocaching a Saturday activity, and a new element for these sessions is the addition of treasure boxes, Tauber said.

"We’ve had some boxes painted up and we’ll put some things inside them — pencils, notepads and different things that they can keep when they find the box," Tauber said. "We’ll teach them how to use the GPS and then let them go, so it will be more like a personal scavenger hunt.’

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The geocaching is also available to groups.

"If the Girls Scouts or Boy Scouts or schools want to do this, they can call and book a time," Tauber said.

The cost is $5 per person and advance payment is required.

The reason the EcoCenter requires advance payment is because in the summer, people would call and reserve a place, but not show up.

"We would have the sessions full and we would turn people away, but then no one would come," Tauber said.

With this new system, people can still show up on the day without an RSVP, but those who have signed up and prepaid will get priority for the GPS units," she said.

Each of the courses will be in different areas on the preserve.

"The first one will be mostly on the nature trail outside of the preserve," Tauber said. "The reason is that we want it to be accessible and fun for kids to do it on their own.

"They can ride their bikes or their scooters or they can walk.

"Once the kids complete that one, we’ll design another," she said. "So if the same kids come back, they won’t do the same course."

The Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Dr. at Kimball Junction, will offer fall geocaching on Saturdays, Sept. 28, Oct. 12 and Oct. 26, between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Adults, youths ages 12 and older and families are welcome to partake on a high-tech hunt for treasure. GPS’s will be provided. The cost is $5 per person or free to Swaner EcoCenter members. Prepay is required. To RSVP, call (435) 649-1767 or email swanerecocenter@usu.edu to reserve a spot.