Zoo News and Updates




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Outdoor Activity of the Month


Join the San Antonio Zoo each month as we team up with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature for the Outdoor Activity of the Month.

September 2014 – Geocaching

 

 

Combine your child’s love for technology with a growing craze happening at Texas State
Parks. Geocaching uses the latest technology to help children find hidden “treasures,” or caches.
More than 90 state parks located throughout Texas are introducing future geocachers to the sport by
hosting more than 1,200 geocaches, or prize-filled containers, hidden within state parks. Caches can be
located online in advance, found by using a Global Positioning System (GPS) or by downloading a free
and easy-to-use Smartphone application.
Many state parks host Geocache 101 workshops, free with normal park entry, to teach newbies the
basics of this modern-day twist on an old-fashioned treasure hunt.
“The sport of geocaching continues to grow rapidly in Texas and around the globe with nearly 2.5 million
geocaches available to the public being sought after by more than 6 million active participants,” says
Robert Owen, Texas Outdoor Family Program coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“For Texans, geocaching is especially accessible and a fun way to get outside with nearly 64,000
geocaches across the state.”
The ongoing Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge that kicked off Oct. 1, 2012 has attracted more
than 250 Texas households, so far, and anyone can participate. The Challenge has generated 19,826
“finds” in Texas state parks the past two years. It’s a great way for park visitors of all ages to learn
interesting facts and stories about Texas history, conservation and stewardship of Texas State Parks,
while also earning prizes.
Prizes vary depending on how many caches are found:
 10 caches found - Entry-level Pathtag, keychain, and sticker
 20 caches found - Bronze-level Pathtag, medal challenge sticker, and 50 percent off a state park
visit
 30 caches found - Silver-level Pathtag and 50 percent off one night of camping
 50 caches found - Gold-level Pathtag and 20 percent off a state park store purchase (limit five
items)
 80 caches found - Platinum-level Pathtag and one free night of camping
Geocaching, which is the hunt for caches hidden by people worldwide, is also supported by online
communities, including www.geocaching.com. Participants find coordinates, share photos and tips, and
learn all the particulars about the activity. After finding the latitude and longitude of a hidden cache, geocachers are guided to within 12 feet of its location. Then, geocachers search the surrounding terrain
until they locate the “goodies” in a container that might be as small as a film canister or as large as an
ammo box. These treasures are never buried, so no shovel is needed.
For more information and to find coordinates of prize-filled caches in Texas State Parks, visit
texasstateparks.org/geocache.

Click here to see what the experts are saying about the benefits of nature play.