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Monday, September 10, 2012

Earthcache – A Fun and Free Activity

Lara Miller, Natural Resource Agent
Michael Barr, Brooker Creek Preserve Intern  

Looking for a fun new reason to get outside and explore nature? The Brooker Creek Preserve Earthcache is for anyone interested in a fun, family-friendly outdoor scavenger hunt and is a great way to experience some of the natural beauty that Pinellas County has to offer. The Earthcache is part of Geocaching, which is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants use GPS coordinates to navigate to a certain location and attempt to find the Geocache located there. An Earthcache, like the one located at Brooker Creek, is a special type of Geocache that does not have a physical “treasure” at the coordinates. Earthcachers learn about interesting natural features and unique Earth science lessons. Earthcaches are a great way to discover some beautiful and unique places that you wouldn’t normally visit and learn more about our amazing world.

The Brooker Creek Preserve Earthcache takes visitors on a tour of some of the wonderful natural sites found at the preserve. Brooker Creek Preserve is the largest remaining wilderness area in Pinellas County and consists of a wide variety of habitats and landscapes. The Earthcache includes a pleasant, shaded walk through the diverse ecological communities that are found at the Preserve including wetlands, pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks. Along the way, visitors will be able to observe the native plants and animals that take refuge within the preserve. Information on these habitats and wildlife is included on the Brooker Creek Earthcache page. Also included on the Earthcache are a series of scavenger hunt questions meant to teach visitors a little about these environments. The answers to these questions are found at three different GPS coordinates located at three different areas of interest along one of the trails at the preserve.

If you love experiencing and exploring nature, participating in an Earthcache offers an exciting new way to discover fascinating natural places. Brooker Creek Preserve is truly a special place that showcases the natural beauty of Florida. If you are interested in participating, the Brooker Creek Preserve Earthcache page can be found here.

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