October 8, 2012
International Earth Cache Day
Sunday, October 14th, is International Earth Cache Day.
What is an Earth Cache? Earth Caches are listed in Geocaching.com like other caches, but they are a bit different. They are administered by the Geological Society of America, and are specifically designed to get you out into the outdoors and learning about Earth Science.
Earthcache.org says, “an Earth Cache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to Earth Cache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.”
Now one major difference between an Earth Cache and a regular geocache: there is no container at an Earth Cache. The “treasure” is the knowledge you gain.
Some Earth Caches are single stage, some are multi stage – leading you through a series of waypoints and questions to show you the entire area.
So, how do you celebrate Earth Cache day? Two ways, really. First and foremost, get out and log an Earth Cache that day! When you are looking at Geochacing.com for an Earth Cache, check for the symbol on the right. There are three within 40 miles of me, so I might try to make a day of it. (Crow Butte Earth Cache, Toadstool Geologic Park Earth Cache, and Who’s Gonna Fall At The Foot of Thee? Earth Cache)
The second way to celebrate is to attend one of the Earth Cache Mega Events. For example, there are two in Maine that day. The “1st International EarthCache Event,” and the “CITO – International Earth Cache Day.”
Oooooh I can hear you asking “what is CITO?” Cache In – Trash Out! Part of the festivities at this event (and hopefully any earth cache you do) is clean up. Take a trash bag with you and trash out the area you hike and geocache in that day. Doing our part to keep the Earth clean and ready for the next person is part of the geocache way.
International Earth Cache Day is the first Sunday of Earth Science week. The American Geosciences Institute organized the first Earth Science week in 1998 to encourage Earth stewardship, excite young people about the opportunities in Earth Sciences, and educate the public. There are events, Facebook pages, newsletters, curriculum guides for teachers and more. Visit Earthscienceweek.org to learn more!
There are even two reward programs for Earth Cachers. EarthCache Discovery awards – giving you a status logo to display on your geocaching profile for the number of Earth Caches found, and EarthCache Masters – giving you a status logo for the number of Earth Caches found and placed!
So, visit the Facebook page, find an Earth Cache near you and help celebrate the amazing diversity of the Earth by geocaching on Sunday, October 14th. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
Image Credit: byheaven / Shutterstock