One thing I’ll say about the game of geocachers is most people are genuine and are willing to give back.
And, as well, many of the people are willing to go the extra mile, too. Being outdoorsy people, they often like to see things in nice shape and all. That bodes well, for the most part, this weekend when Groundspeak (the company behind geocaching.com) holds its 11th annual International Cache In, Trash Out (CITO) weekend.
This year, the dates are April 20-22, with Monday the 22nd being Earth Day.
CITO is basically an initiative in the geocaching community where cachers from around the world dedicate their time to improving parks and other cache-friendly places. Basically, we’ll go in as a group, clean things up, fix what can be fixed and try and help preserve the natural beauty of the outdoors.
The CITO weekend is when cachers host events so people can get together in an organized way and focus on a certain spot or spots. Depending on the event, the group may be picking up trash, doing some weeding, building trails, fixing walkways or whatever else.
In the end, the geocaching community, as a whole, has a positive impact on the area in which they focus.
And that’s a good thing.
In our area, these events have been few and far between. There was one before I was ever a cacher and was in 2006, when geocaching in this area was in its infancy. There were only two geocachers who logged they had been there. In 2008, another CITO was held. This time there were four logged cachers, though there were others there who attended and helped out.
That brings us to 2013.
I have to say our area parks, for the most part, are pretty clean. The parks in our main areas, such as Oneonta, are pretty decently groomed and well-kept being there are employees who watch for things like this.
The outer areas, it’s all depending. Especially because geocaching in our area is hit or miss when it comes to placed caches. Some areas don’t have any, so we might not, as a group, have seen certain parks.
Wanting to give back to my town, though, I’m hosting an event Saturday. It’s at a small park owned by the local school. It’s a nice little place with a pond, a few trails and a few geocaches. I honestly don’t know how dirty it is, but it can definitely use a good sweep through and tidying up. There’s a hope of a small disc golf course being placed here at some point, too, so it’s nice to have people see the beauty of the park.
So far, only a handful of people have signed up. Hopefully we’ll get a bunch of people who show up the morning of. But in the end, no matter who shows up, the goal is the same — to clean the park to the best of our abilities and maintain a positive image for geocachers.
If you are a geocacher, I hope you get out this weekend to a CITO event to help do some cleaning. And if you’re in this area, come help our CITO!
Fundraiser: I am, again, trying to raise money for the Relay For Life. If you donate to me — a minimum of $5– you will be entered to win a super-sweet quilted lap quilt or pillow. Click here for all the information!
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