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Seattle City Parks Dept. Policy on caches in Discovery park.


nevcowpok
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From my perspective I don't really think anybody here is trying to attack or beat anybody over the head. After all we are on the same team and believe it or not we do this for "fun". Certainly I hope anything I have said has not seemed accusatory or overly critical. Of course I very much appreciate anybody who takes time out of their lives to represent us as a community. I know what they say about hindsight and I also know that it is a lot easier to play quarterback from my armchair. I’ll take this opportunity to say “thank you” to those who attended this meeting, wrote letters to the park and used their best judgment to handle the situation as they saw fit.

 

For me, I just feel a huge sense of frustration when very serious accusations and allegations are hung on our community when they in my opinion, they very likely lack substance or are grossly exaggerated. I don’t worry about the issue of Discovery Park in particular as much as I see the slippery slope lying in front of us of having caches either banned in all City of Seattle parks or of having some ludicrous contract that nobody in his/her right mind would sign in order to place a cache. I recognize that caching as it becomes more and more popular will not remain as it is today. More and more restrictions and limitations are coming and for better or worse I believe we will be driven out of a lot of these great public places. Making enemies within the parks department of course won’t help but I honestly don’t know where the line should be drawn between defending ourselves or turning the other cheek yet again.

 

In this particular case, I think that I feel as I would if I were accused of shoplifting and instead of being shown the evidence of my crime and given the opportunity to defend myself, I simply agreed not to go to that store anymore with understanding that “maybe” we can talk about me shopping there again sometime in the distant future. I’m no longer at risk of being prosecuted but at the same time the owner of the establishment feels justified in their accusation and I am left with a mark on my reputation and a pit in my stomach.

 

Ultimately I think we as a community need to take care to insure that when we are placing caches, we are aware of the damage that might be done to an area where caches are placed. True, you might have fantastically camouflaged micro that you can place out in the woods and would love to show it off to the rest of us but is what you are doing really in the best interest of the environment and thereby our reputation as a community? We need to call out those caches that are doing harm before land managers do it for us so we don’t find ourselves in this position again in the future.

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This back and forth discussion has been interesting, to say the least. I hope all parties realize that the questions regarding strategy, etc. are brought forth by people passionate about the game. Without passionate people, the game ceases to exist. "Harsh" comments aside, we are supposed to be on the same side here.

 

I am not one of the "in" clique of geocachers. But this finger pointing back and forth with the"hey, I don't like your tone"--"Well, bully on you, I don't like your tone either" doesn't do anyone any good, risks alienating someone from this very fun hobby (and please don't say that doesn't happen, I can think of one very prominent example and I am sure there are more) and makes us all look like chumps (anyone can read these forums).

 

There was a way to address the Parks Department very specific form letter without being confrontational. Keep in mind that they are the ones that started this whole thing, so asking about specific examples, in the correct way, would not be unheard of. The group that went, on their own time as I assume they volunteered to go, with the possble exception of MissJenn) made the decision to not addresss it. We have to respect that.

 

I am curious about next steps. TM indicated in her post that this is a relationship building exercise. When will our people meet with their people again? Is there a timeline for a policy? Are they forums available for public comment for park issues? City Council meeting, or whathaveyou? Is another meeting scheduled? Are they aware that group caching, such as the event cache program that is apparently allowed in Discover Park, causes way more damage than a well placed traditional cache. Here's a complete brainstorming idea, how about allowing only puzzle caches within Discovery Park? Specifc data could be provided that would prove that these type of caches are visited far less frequently (on average) than a traditional.

 

Let's be proactive. Concrete information they shared with the volunteer group about why this decision was made, shouldn't be parked somewhere. An example might be, Parks people noticed a social trail at this location that went through low level forest growth. We saw damage to X plant species. It is our opinion (the Parks folks) that this trail is a direct result of geocache GCXXXX. Responsible cache placers and finders can review this information, and be aware that if they see another cache that kinda fits that same profile maybe we can report it.

 

Sarah

WATreasureHunters

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A few comments from a friend down South....

 

1) First and foremost - why didn't anybody tell me about this park a long time ago? :o:D All kidding aside, it sounds like a gem that I'll need to check out on a future visit (to enjoy the site, obviously not to cache)

 

2) I can support the notion that these things take time. Down here in Cali, we've had several meetings, discussions, bans, etc. and a very active group of locals have made incredible progress through attending meetings, talking, listening and working with the land managers down here.

 

One group that initially (IIRC) came out with an outright ban on caching, now has published geocaching guidelines on their website (see 'em here) as well as volunteer park stewards that are part of our organization (GBA - Geocachers of the Bay Area). It didn't happen overnight, though.

 

Don't get me wrong, I understand the "it's a public park" and "why are they picking on us" mentality. It still happens to us whenever these things come up.

 

Ok, not sure I'm adding much to the discussion, and since it's very local-centric I'll bow out.

Just wanted to voice some support from a friend.

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A few comments from a friend down South....

 

1) First and foremost - why didn't anybody tell me about this park a long time ago? :o:D All kidding aside, it sounds like a gem that I'll need to check out on a future visit (to enjoy the site, obviously not to cache)

 

2) I can support the notion that these things take time. Down here in Cali, we've had several meetings, discussions, bans, etc. and a very active group of locals have made incredible progress through attending meetings, talking, listening and working with the land managers down here.

 

One group that initially (IIRC) came out with an outright ban on caching, now has published geocaching guidelines on their website (see 'em here) as well as volunteer park stewards that are part of our organization (GBA - Geocachers of the Bay Area). It didn't happen overnight, though.

 

Don't get me wrong, I understand the "it's a public park" and "why are they picking on us" mentality. It still happens to us whenever these things come up.

 

Ok, not sure I'm adding much to the discussion, and since it's very local-centric I'll bow out.

Just wanted to voice some support from a friend.

 

The "Park Steward" is one of the ideas we talked about. It is a way to take some of the pressure off of overworked public employees. As Kealia says, this will take time.

 

I have said this before in this discussion, but there is NO PLAN TO BAN GEOCACHES IN ALL SEATTLE PARKS. In most parks the policy will likely be exactly what it is now. Discovery Park is a separate case and will remain so. The city wants to come up with a citywide policy before addressing any particular park. That way, whatever is decided for Discovery will fit with the city plan. This was made very clear to us. Please do not assume that this is a prelude to a complete ban. It is not.

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there is NO PLAN TO BAN GEOCACHES IN ALL SEATTLE PARKS

 

Thank goodness.

 

I just worry that once a precedent is set, that a ban is the "easiest" solution for a land manager to choose. I hope we are not the ones pushing for, asking for or even encouraging a "policy".

 

"Discovery Park had a 'problem', they banned caches, problem solved. Lets do that in every park then. "

 

My opinion...

Policy + City of Seattle = Bad News

(sorry if I sound pessimistic but I'm unimpressed with several moves made by the City of late and I hope this is different.)

 

Again, thanks to all those who have worked on our team to resolve their concerns.

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there is NO PLAN TO BAN GEOCACHES IN ALL SEATTLE PARKS

 

Thank goodness.

 

I just worry that once a precedent is set, that a ban is the "easiest" solution for a land manager to choose. I hope we are not the ones pushing for, asking for or even encouraging a "policy".

 

"Discovery Park had a 'problem', they banned caches, problem solved. Lets do that in every park then. "

 

My opinion...

Policy + City of Seattle = Bad News

(sorry if I sound pessimistic but I'm unimpressed with several moves made by the City of late and I hope this is different.)

 

Again, thanks to all those who have worked on our team to resolve their concerns.

As Team Misguided mentioned, the manager involved here is one that I have had a working relationship with for many years. I took her on her first cache hunt in 2003. She is very supportive of caching and the people it brings into the parks. She has helped me place caches in parks either by getting me in touch with the appropriate person or getting the permission herself. She will support caches in most of the parks. I know that the city has given us good reason to be pessimistic, but I think it is misplaced here.

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I refuse to give you the satisfaction at the embarrassment of another cacher. The cache has long since been archived and there's no reason to bring it out in the open. Believe me or not. I don't care.

TL, I honestly don't know what you're talking about. You don't know me, and if you're suggesting that I'm out for "the satisfaction at the embarrassment of another cacher" over the owl's nest thing, you are way off base. If such a cache existed at Discovery Park and was a reason for the ban, I see no harm in discussing it. The purpose is not to embarrass the person who placed it (who need not even be identified), but to learn from it and help show land managers that we can police ourselves. Or, if it turns out that the assertion was wrong, then we should point that out.

 

Discussing the strategy, as you say you are doing, is taking the group to task for not going in with your strategy.

I'm not quite sure what to make of that comment. Discussion of strategy = taking individuals to task? That is not my intent. I do disagree with one discrete element of the strategy (for reasons that BPR and others have expressed well), but that is no condemnation of the people who are volunteering for this role. I'm sorry, it is in my nature to say what I think and to say it directly. It's not in my nature to just clap like a seal even though I think we may be more effective by being proactive on this issue of concern to them. For reasons that even I question, I'm too personally invested in seeing our access to public lands preserved to just bite my tongue. Unlike comments directed at me, I have not been at all personal and don't intend to be, but if we can't discuss strategy, then I guess I wonder what the point of the conversation is. The thread could have been closed after "caches are now banned in Discovery Park; await a future policy City-wide."

I would also say that the bird's nest incident could not have been too important to them since they did not bring it up.

That seems natural in light of the fact that...

Their minds were made up. Little of what we would say would make any difference.

That's probably true. I nevertheless think we might demonstrate ourselves to be capable of good stewardship of the parks if we were to express some concern about that particular incident. Again, that need not be adversarial. It is, truly, an expression of concern. The fact is, they thought it was enough of a problem to highlight it as the only specific example of caches causing problems (social trails, more generally). If they think it's a problem, it is one for us.

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I refuse to give you the satisfaction at the embarrassment of another cacher. The cache has long since been archived and there's no reason to bring it out in the open. Believe me or not. I don't care.

TL, I honestly don't know what you're talking about. You don't know me, and if you're suggesting that I'm out for "the satisfaction at the embarrassment of another cacher" over the owl's nest thing, you are way off base. If such a cache existed at Discovery Park and was a reason for the ban, I see no harm in discussing it. The purpose is not to embarrass the person who placed it (who need not even be identified), but to learn from it and help show land managers that we can police ourselves. Or, if it turns out that the assertion was wrong, then we should point that out.

 

Discussing the strategy, as you say you are doing, is taking the group to task for not going in with your strategy.

I'm not quite sure what to make of that comment. Discussion of strategy = taking individuals to task? That is not my intent. I do disagree with one discrete element of the strategy (for reasons that BPR and others have expressed well), but that is no condemnation of the people who are volunteering for this role. I'm sorry, it is in my nature to say what I think and to say it directly. It's not in my nature to just clap like a seal even though I think we may be more effective by being proactive on this issue of concern to them. For reasons that even I question, I'm too personally invested in seeing our access to public lands preserved to just bite my tongue. Unlike comments directed at me, I have not been at all personal and don't intend to be, but if we can't discuss strategy, then I guess I wonder what the point of the conversation is. The thread could have been closed after "caches are now banned in Discovery Park; await a future policy City-wide."

I would also say that the bird's nest incident could not have been too important to them since they did not bring it up.

That seems natural in light of the fact that...

Their minds were made up. Little of what we would say would make any difference.

That's probably true. I nevertheless think we might demonstrate ourselves to be capable of good stewardship of the parks if we were to express some concern about that particular incident. Again, that need not be adversarial. It is, truly, an expression of concern. The fact is, they thought it was enough of a problem to highlight it as the only specific example of caches causing problems (social trails, more generally). If they think it's a problem, it is one for us.

I don't know how it feels from your side of the monitor, but from this side your "discussing strategy" seems like you are telling us we did a bad job because we did not use the strategy you would have used. Since I am defending what we did, I must be under attack.

 

To imply that because their minds were made up they did not present reasons for that decision is going a bit too far. They did present their reasons. Those reasons did not include a cache placed in an owl's nest.

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there is NO PLAN TO BAN GEOCACHES IN ALL SEATTLE PARKS

 

Thank goodness.

 

I just worry that once a precedent is set, that a ban is the "easiest" solution for a land manager to choose. I hope we are not the ones pushing for, asking for or even encouraging a "policy".

 

"Discovery Park had a 'problem', they banned caches, problem solved. Lets do that in every park then. "

 

My opinion...

Policy + City of Seattle = Bad News

(sorry if I sound pessimistic but I'm unimpressed with several moves made by the City of late and I hope this is different.)

 

Again, thanks to all those who have worked on our team to resolve their concerns.

Actually, Discovery Park has a very specific mandate which is significantly different from the standard park mandate and it is to be defended with as much aggression as possible to preserve the park in its natural state without consideration to special groups. That is why you still don't see things like a baseball or football field there. This space was released by the military under those special conditions. Tha landmanager has a responsibility to toe the mandate line as much as possible so long as the ongoing activities they allow to happen there do not change the landscape in any way.

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I don't know how it feels from your side of the monitor, but from this side your "discussing strategy" seems like you are telling us we did a bad job because we did not use the strategy you would have used. Since I am defending what we did, I must be under attack.

I'm going to respectfully submit that that's not a healthy or accurate reading of the situation. In matters of policy-making, lobbying, persuasion, etc., I think it's normal for there to be debate among those "on the same side" about strategy. (My goodness, I get much greater scrutiny from my colleagues over such things; the process improves the result.)

 

Please understand: I am not attacking you or anyone else for having made the decision not to raise that issue in this initial meeting. I think it could have been raised with tact and in a non-adversarial manner (again, as our community's expression of concern), but I respect the judgment call not to do so at that time. Nevertheless, given the importance they placed on it in communications to others, I still think it behooves us as a community to follow up on it - again, out of concern, not out of some desire to pick a fight or nit-pick.

 

To imply that because their minds were made up they did not present reasons for that decision is going a bit too far. They did present their reasons. Those reasons did not include a cache placed in an owl's nest.

In that one conversation. However, in a formal written communication the City sent to various people, that was one of two reasons listed. If they went to the trouble of citing it in that more-formal context, then I think we need to deal with it. If and when a wider policy is developed (as you say one will be), I expect we'll hear about it again. It was important to someone over there.

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TL and I have discussed things privately and suffice it to say, I think we misunderstood each other (and each other's motivations). In hopes of possibly steering the conversation in a more productive direction, I'll make this observation about Discovery Park:

 

I was looking at Discovery Park in Google Earth last night, trying to see if there were any terracaches or letterboxes there, thinking that I, as an active member of both of those communities, should let any owners of such boxes know that they should probably be removed. In looking at the big picture, I was reminded of the irony of the mandate to keep that park "natural." It has a HUGE sewer treatment plant that takes up what would otherwise be some of the most prime (waterfront) real estate. It has all kinds of leftover military installations (dozens and dozens of buildings, the big "golf ball," etc.). Accepted/sanctioned trails - and roads - criss-cross all over the place. Tennis courts; picnic tables; multiple large parking lots. Weddings and big receptions. The place is full of people walking dogs, riding bikes, throwing frisbees (!) etc. None of which I have any problem with at all - it's part of the "package" that is Discovery Park - maybe as close as we in Seattle get to something like Central Park, a thriving, well-loved urban oasis. But the suggestion that it's some kind of wilderness in need of special across-the-board preservation is a bit silly to me. I agree that what's left of the natural state should indeed be vigorously protected, but there are lots and lots of totally innocuous places for caches. The total ban is overly broad and unnecessary to meet the goal of protecting the natural areas.

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the big "golf ball," etc.).

I believe that's a disco ball. :D

 

Being this park used to be a military installation, the things Jeff described is not surprising. A little historical background as I was around here in the 70's when it was still a military installation same as Sand Point was. At great pressure from the city with developers behind them pushing for the property, the military finally and reluctantly relented on a controlled release of the grounds under specific conditions. The pressure was originally to allow development for high-priced homes because of the view. Fortunately, the environmentalists whom were also responsible for the bridges to nowhere (another story) got in the way and applied an equal amount of pressure to preserve this section of land as a natrual park to be preserved for future generations (thus the special mandate). I believe part of the grounds is still an active military installation in progress of being mothballed.

 

The disco ball golf ball thing is actually the remnants of a defense radar system which was part of a larger radar system on the west coast and inner waterways before the Very Large Array system went into active service in Alaska.

 

The "natural" grounds were part of a training ground for the military.

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To add a bit to this new direction. The park is actively working to restore those large sections of the park that currently house the military buildings and grounds. If you go to the visitors center they have some plans on display for the restoration of those areas.

 

I agree that what's left of the natural state should indeed be vigorously protected, but there are lots and lots of totally innocuous places for caches. The total ban is overly broad and unnecessary to meet the goal of protecting the natural areas.

 

I doubt you will find anyone here that will disagree with you on this point. We made several attempts to get this message heard in our meeting. I had visited the park in advance of the meeting and picked out many good sites for caches that would in no way harm the environment. I had hoped to take a walking tour to show them how caches could be placed so as to be hidden from view but still reachable from the trail. I even had my trusty caching bucket with a half dozen or so cache containers of different sizes.

 

They were simply not ready to hear that or even consider it at this point. By the end of the meeting the very firm "Not in this park" had softened to "Not in this park for now".

 

Hindsight is usually 20/20, what we need to be doing now is not looking at the past and what we did wrong but looking at the future and how we can do things better. Sure it will help to understand our mistakes so that we don't make them again, but we don't have to dwell on them. We should be putting this energy into coming up with ways to show the parks the benefits of having geocaches. Eventually when all the other parks are reaping those benefits and Discovery park isn't they might just consider changing their position.

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We should be putting this energy into coming up with ways to show the parks the benefits of having geocaches. Eventually when all the other parks are reaping those benefits and Discovery park isn't they might just consider changing their position.

 

I've followed this thread very carefully, but have remained quiet. For the most part I've agreed with everyone's positions and posts regarding this issue.

 

Maybe one way to demonstrate the "Benefits" is to schedule CITO event in the mid-spring and get volunteers to help with a designated park project that is in the works. Maybe work it out so that there is an annual CITO, I'm fairly certain that with the size of the Seattle Metro area, it shouldn't be difficult to get 20 - 30 volunteers to come out for a day. Heck I'd probably come for the weekend since I've never cached in that area before.

 

Since it appears the park allows weddings and other events, it would seem logical since there is no hiding of caches during a CITO... the Land Manager shouldn't have any objections. I really enjoyed the CITO at Mt. Rainier and while National Parks don't allow caches, I believe that event really put a positive spotlight on Geocachers and Geocaching.

 

If the right relationship is developed between the Land Manager and coordinates with WSGA, annual CITO's could happen when certain projects at the land managers discretion need the helping hands of Volunteers. Similar to what the SCA is for National Parks.

Edited by Difranco
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"We should be putting this energy into coming up with ways to show the parks the benefits of having geocaches. Eventually when all the other parks are reaping those benefits and Discovery park isn't they might just consider changing their position."

 

Yes, and part of that is dwelling on our mistakes. By that I mean policing ourselves in such a way that all caches are not pulled from a park before we have this discussion. Am I the only one who sees Seward Park, Camp Long, Lincoln Park and Carkeek Park recover and restoration efforts (as well as the enviromental centers at some of these locations) as a possible segue into a ban on destructive activities. Destructive activities such as a badly placed geocache? Good grief! I GET that this is not all "all out ban" on geocaching in Seattle Parks. My point, and something that BPR said as well, is that we need to be proactive regarding our hobby, and being proactive would mean specific examples of what caused issues in sensitive areas in the past. Seward Park, as an example, has a Friends of Seward Park group that pulls ivy, plants natives (or at least organizes and helps raise funds) etc, etc. to help restore one of the last remaining stands of forest in the city. How will a volunteer of that group react if some of their new plants get squished and a cache happens to be nearby? Sounds like Discovery Park all over again. And really not so far fetched, which is what I feel some people are saying here, despite the assurances that would NEVER happen.

 

That is one reason why I asked for information about how we can get involved in the parks, not a four-person advance gaurd, but how individuals can communicate with Seattle Parks in general regarding restoration projects in the parks, etc. that can make it sound like we care (because we do CARE). I don't have a cache in a Seattle Park, but if I did, I would like to be able to speak with someone besides the maintenance men about my cache. I was able to find information about the Parks Board of Directors, at the Parks website. If you dig, you can also get a phone number to each park, though when I called through to Seward I got a recording.

 

Can I also assume, since it hasn't been addressed, that there is no timeline for a next meeting, or for a policy to be enacted?

 

Sarah

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You bring up a good point about the 'Friends of ......' groups. Most of these parks have a group like that. Often they have quite a bit of influence as to what goes on in 'their' park. Looking into these groups and getting involved at that level might not be a bad idea.

 

We do have a service project planned for this spring. It's not ready for prime time yet and we had hoped to start a new thread for it so that is why we haven't mentioned it before now.

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The disco ball golf ball thing is actually the remnants of a defense radar system which was part of a larger radar system on the west coast and inner waterways before the Very Large Array system went into active service in Alaska.

 

Actually that golf ball thing is the main air traffic control radar for this area. It is mentioned in the park master plan and they would like to get it removed, but the federal government is not likely to move it anytime soon.

 

Also Lightning Jeff mentioned the sewage plant. That is addressed by the master plan as well. Part of the master plan calls for removal of the plant. Once again, that is not going to happen. I believe, and I may be wrong here, that it predates the conversion of Fort Lawton into Discovery Park.

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We should be putting this energy into coming up with ways to show the parks the benefits of having geocaches. Eventually when all the other parks are reaping those benefits and Discovery park isn't they might just consider changing their position.

...

Maybe one way to demonstrate the "Benefits" is to schedule CITO event in the mid-spring and get volunteers to help with a designated park project that is in the works. Maybe work it out so that there is an annual CITO, I'm fairly certain that with the size of the Seattle Metro area, it shouldn't be difficult to get 20 - 30 volunteers to come out for a day. ...

I don't know what the fascination is with the springtime CITO.

Shouldn't this be a year round type of thing.

We just had the one in NSP and it was an amazing turnout.

Not to mention the cachers received thank you letters from the Parks Director, the Deputy Mayor, and the Mayor of SeaTac for our efforts. CITO LINK

They have also volunteered to provide refreshments, and more supplies at the next event. The parks people told me that anytime I would like to schedule the next event is ok with them.

This event has also made this particular parks dept rather fond of geocachers. The parks workers will ask me when they see me "Did anyone find your cache lately?"

Parks departments want us in their parks, they just don't know it, and they won't if we don't show them why.

If I lived closer to seattle proper I would try to coordinate something, but it is a bit outside of my range with my limited transportation. I would love to see some seattle cachers come up with some CITO events throughout the year, not just in the spring. I'd attend, I just can't coordinate.

 

Note: the links and info to the CITO were placed here at the request of another cacher, I didn't come here to sing my own praises, they are merely provided as an insight to the positive reaction that can occur from such an event. we didn't make the event a success, the many cachers that attended did that, we were just in charge of the smilies.

Edited by MaplessInSeattle
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I don't know what the fascination is with the springtime CITO.

It's called "Earth Day." :) Many organizations plan cleanup/environmental activities to coincide with Earth Day every April. This year, Earth Day is April 22 (a Tuesday), and I bet several CITOs will be scheduled the weekends before/after. Because parks know about Earth Day and often plan/expect activities in that time frame, they are especially receptive to cleanup/restoration events then. Plus, spring is when parks are cleaning up from winter storms and preparing for the summer crowds.

 

That said, I agree that CITO should be a year-round concept. You aren't the only cacher to plan a CITO outside the Earth Day window (but kudos for doing one in such a deserving area, in the winter!); the Mt Rainier event in September was superb (kudos to Team Misguided for organizing that one). I am currently talking to King County Parks about what sort of CITO events we might work on together, with no specific time frames (I joined their Ambassador volunteer program).

 

And yes, CITO events are always well-received, and build good relations with the parks. I think all CITO event organizers could report support and feedback similar to what you received. So, the more CITO, the merrier!

Edited by hydnsek
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I don't know what the fascination is with the springtime CITO.

 

I merely suggested spring because it's already the end of January, by the time a person coordinates with park staff and gets the CITO published and allow for ample time for the event to be advertised, and people coordinate their schedules. That puts the event into March or early April. It just seems a reasonable time frame to try to get one in Discovery Park. :)

Edited by Difranco
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I don't know what the fascination is with the springtime CITO.

 

I merely suggested spring because it's already the end of January, by the time a person coordinates with park staff and gets the CITO published and allow for ample time for the event to be advertised, and people coordinate their schedules. That puts the event into March or early April. It just seems a reasonable time frame to try to get one in Discovery Park. :)

In our meeting with the parks people we discussed a service project. There are certain times of the year when various kinds of things are done at the park. This is due to the nesting habits of the wildlife in the park. It also has to do with growing cycles of the plants in the park.

 

As TeamMisguided mentioned a service project is in the works and planning is going on with the park staff. When it is planned out and "ready for prime time" the event will be publicized. It is much too early to discuss here what may happen as plans may have to change between now and then. The particular project we discussed requires quite a bit of planning.

 

We were well aware that Spring is not the only time to do such an event. It will likely be in the Spring because the dates they would be doing something before then were just too close to get the planning in. We want to make sure this is done right and so will take the time to do it right. Difranco is perfectly correct in the comments here.

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Actually, due to the outcry, the coyote plan is now:

 

Agency will try to trap, not shoot, Discovery Park coyote

 

Since I've lost two cats to coyotes, I have a little trouble mustering support for this bold coyote, but would prefer he be caught humanely and transported elsewhere (just not to my greenbelt!).

 

And we definitely don't need leg traps in the park - jeepers! And they don't want geocaches?!

Edited by hydnsek
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There is a coyote, or possibly a group, that live here in Tukwila. I have seen them on more than one occasion by the Home Depot here in the predawn hours. It's an eye opener, especially when you aren't maybe all the way awake...

 

BTW, although the plan is to now trap the critter, its not so they can relocate him. According to the news last night, they will trap and euthanize him. Bummer. They say he is to aggresive towards humans, which means he must be put down...

 

Sarah

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There are lots of coyotes in the area - any park or greenbelt that has some shelter for them is very likely populated. Clark Lake Park in Kent has a resident pack and it is not unusual to see them running through the streets of adjacent neighborhoods. They like to mark their territory by leaving their droppings in the middle of trails in the park - easy to identify because they are full of cat hair. Just about every cat in the surrounding neighborhoods that is not kept inside is eventually taken. The best way to deal with them is to keep your cats and all pet food indoors.

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I know that we are going a bit off topic but it is kind of interesting.

 

I didn't realize that they preyed so heavily on cats. I figured that cats were fast or agile enough to evade a coyote. However towards the end of last summer, I was looking for a cache on a powerline trail in Redmond and I remember coming across a severed cat limb right in the middle of the trail. I wondered at the time how/why but I think I may have my answer now.

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Actually, due to the outcry, the coyote plan is now:

 

Agency will try to trap, not shoot, Discovery Park coyote

 

Since I've lost two cats to coyotes, I have a little trouble mustering support for this bold coyote, but would prefer he be caught humanely and transported elsewhere (just not to my greenbelt!).

 

And we definitely don't need leg traps in the park - jeepers! And they don't want geocaches?!

Doesn't sound like that's going to happen. The article says

If the animal is trapped, it likely will be euthanized

It's not like coyote's are endangered...

 

Although, this one is!

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The world will not end over the death of a coyote, hell I would kill it for them.

Doesn't Washington still have a bounty on Coyotes?

No

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife does not classify coyotes as game animals, but a state license is required to hunt or trap them (RCW 77.32.010). The owner, the owner's immediate family, employee, or a tenant of real property may kill or trap a coyote on that property if it is damaging crops or domestic animals (RCW 77.36.030). A license is not required in such cases. Check with your county and/or local jurisdiction for local restrictions. Except for bona fide public or private zoological parks, persons and entities are prohibited from importing a coyote into Washington State without a permit from the Department of Agriculture and written permission from the Department of Health. Persons and entities are also prohibited from acquiring, selling, bartering, exchanging, giving, purchasing, or trapping a coyote for a pet or export (WAC 246-100-191).

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A cat is a domestic animal, take the coyote out. I will have to check but I thought there was a bounty on them, but that might be in eastern WA. I have a nice wounded rabbit call that would bring it right in range. How much money will the state waste on this when a 25 cent bullet could end the whole problem ? For that matter a arrow.

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A cat is a domestic animal, take the coyote out. I will have to check but I thought there was a bounty on them, but that might be in eastern WA. I have a nice wounded rabbit call that would bring it right in range. How much money will the state waste on this when a 25 cent bullet could end the whole problem ? For that matter a arrow.

Sounds like I should hire you to solve my coyote-eats-cats problem...per the quoted law, I can take action in my owned section of greenbelt. :D

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Back on track, it's a pity this came to pass. We don't get to Seattle as often as we would like, but had our eye the caches in Discovery Park whenever we were checking out fun-looking areas. Folks would recommend that we visit there if we had the time, but it always ended up being a case of 'next trip'. I guess there's no rush now.

 

I just wanted to say 'Thank You' to the folks who are working on the possibility that the visit will indeed happen someday.

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Isn't this the main topic at the WSGA meeting this weekend? Looking forward to hearing if there's any further info...

73--KK7UZ

Bump.

 

And, I thought I'd mention that I had occasion to go on a nice hike through Discovery Park recently. While the geocaches are apparently gone, "other things" remain. Without giving too much away, two of the items I found were accessible directly from the trail, with clues or other factors that make it impossible for searchers to even attempt to search off-trail. These are perfect examples of hide types that present no risk of harm whatsoever to park resources. Identifying them might endanger them (and me?), but assuming open minds on the part of the parks people, would also demonstrate that, with thoughtful hides, our activity can be risk-free to the park.

 

(As I walked, I spotted dozens of other such places - where a box could be hidden with no risk of trampling, social trails, etc. In fairness, the one other item I found was in a location where, with greater visitation, it would lead to a pretty obvious social trail; an example of how not to hide something, at least in this park.)

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Isn't this the main topic at the WSGA meeting this weekend? Looking forward to hearing if there's any further info...

73--KK7UZ

Bump.

 

And, I thought I'd mention that I had occasion to go on a nice hike through Discovery Park recently. While the geocaches are apparently gone, "other things" remain. Without giving too much away, two of the items I found were accessible directly from the trail, with clues or other factors that make it impossible for searchers to even attempt to search off-trail. These are perfect examples of hide types that present no risk of harm whatsoever to park resources. Identifying them might endanger them (and me?), but assuming open minds on the part of the parks people, would also demonstrate that, with thoughtful hides, our activity can be risk-free to the park.

 

(As I walked, I spotted dozens of other such places - where a box could be hidden with no risk of trampling, social trails, etc. In fairness, the one other item I found was in a location where, with greater visitation, it would lead to a pretty obvious social trail; an example of how not to hide something, at least in this park.)

 

Sounds like you did the same thing I did in order to prepare for the meeting. I had a gps full of coordinates and a box of various sized cache containers to use for demonstration. They were not willing to listen to that at this time. The Discovery Parks people are not going to change their minds any time soon and the only way we are going to get them to even consider a change is to back off for now and respect their wishes.

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Personally, I Really liked the park when we went out there to do a few of the caches. My only complaint was that I couldn't ride my bike at least close to a few of the caches. Either way, parking the bike just to the side of the designated bike paths allowed us to enjoy this great park. I would have Never came to this park were it not for geocaching. Caches Should be allowed in the park. There's pleanty of space(as has been mentioned before) for some Great caches.

 

The Steaks

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Personally, I Really liked the park when we went out there to do a few of the caches. My only complaint was that I couldn't ride my bike at least close to a few of the caches. Either way, parking the bike just to the side of the designated bike paths allowed us to enjoy this great park. I would have Never came to this park were it not for geocaching. Caches Should be allowed in the park. There's pleanty of space(as has been mentioned before) for some Great caches.

 

The Steaks

It is our firm hope to get some caches back in this park. As Team Misguided mentioned, it will take time. The good folks who run the park need to be convinced that we can cache there without damaged the park. The first thing we need to do is gain their trust. That is not an overnight job.

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Isn't this the main topic at the WSGA meeting this weekend? Looking forward to hearing if there's any further info...

73--KK7UZ

Bump.

 

And, I thought I'd mention that I had occasion to go on a nice hike through Discovery Park recently. While the geocaches are apparently gone, "other things" remain. Without giving too much away, two of the items I found were accessible directly from the trail, with clues or other factors that make it impossible for searchers to even attempt to search off-trail. These are perfect examples of hide types that present no risk of harm whatsoever to park resources. Identifying them might endanger them (and me?), but assuming open minds on the part of the parks people, would also demonstrate that, with thoughtful hides, our activity can be risk-free to the park.

 

(As I walked, I spotted dozens of other such places - where a box could be hidden with no risk of trampling, social trails, etc. In fairness, the one other item I found was in a location where, with greater visitation, it would lead to a pretty obvious social trail; an example of how not to hide something, at least in this park.)

 

Sounds like you did the same thing I did in order to prepare for the meeting. I had a gps full of coordinates and a box of various sized cache containers to use for demonstration. They were not willing to listen to that at this time. The Discovery Parks people are not going to change their minds any time soon and the only way we are going to get them to even consider a change is to back off for now and respect their wishes.

Sounds like part of Jeff's point was also that there are still boxes in the park for aficionados of other sites to find (I'm guessing letterboxes). As usual, geocaching.com is biting the bullet because we are the best-known and try to be good citizens. I wonder if Discovery Park knows there are still other boxes out there.

Edited by hydnsek
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Sounds like part of Jeff's point was also that there are still boxes in the park for aficionados of other sites to find (I'm guessing letterboxes). As usual, geocaching.com is biting the bullet because we are the best-known and try to be good citizens. I wonder if Discovery Park knows there are still other boxes out there.

Well that, and that two of them are demonstrably harmless. "Demonstrably," meaning they could be pulled out and shown to the parks people* as examples of how boxes can be placed in a way that eliminates essentially all risk. It does occur to me, though, that that is more easily accomplished in letterboxing, where the entire basis of the search can be an explicit clue. That is, in caching, we go to coordinates and search (and some will not read the description or hint, which may be explicit). In letterboxing, if the clue is to "walk to the first bench, spot the hollow log right behind it and look in that log," there really is no opportunity for searches in other areas. Still, very-low-risk cache placements are possible.

 

As for whether the park people know about "other boxes" at Discovery, I thought someone here said they did, but were focused on geocaches because they get the most traffic (it is also possible that I'm misremembering the comment or remembering it from another discussion). One of the items I have in mind would be very difficult for them to figure out, and another would be mildly challenging. At any rate, as far as I can tell, there is no "policy" regarding these things - just a request by parks that a particular class of boxes be archived by a listing site, which chose to cooperate. (I don't think it's a matter of only geocaching.com being "good citizens" - the same request simply has not been made to other listing sites, as far as I know. I know the operator of one such site and have little doubt that he would remove listings if asked by authorities to do so.) My understanding could be incorrect, but at any rate, I can say with near certainty that there is no written policy or directive in this regard (or at least not as of a few weeks ago). ;)

 

* If they were open-minded; however, they apparently are not and want us to just "back off." There is no written policy or directive prohibiting the boxes that are there and I therefore would not be inclined to disclose them.

Edited by Lightning Jeff
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Does anyone have a letterboxing ID? Are the letterboxes being evicted as well?

 

Took a quick look through the letterboxes listed on LBNA and didn't see any in Disco Park

 

I just logged in to atlasquest and letterboxing.org At Atlasquest I found at least two active letterboxes in Discovery Park, there might be others.... Letterboxing.org showed a series of six in Discovery Park, but clicking one them brings up a note that the user has moved from the area and has removed all his/her boxes. The big problem with letterboxes is that they don't have a map feature on the various sites so you can't always tell where they are located.

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The big problem with letterboxes is that they don't have a map feature on the various sites so you can't always tell where they are located.

Well, they do (AtlasQuest in particular has a pretty nice Google Maps implementation) but users can choose not to provide the necessary location info for the box to show up in the "right" place on the map. With many boxes, finding the starting point is a big part of the challenge. Since there is nothing illegal about any of the boxes that are there, and the parks people have not asked about non-geocache boxes in Discovery Park, I can't see disclosing them any more than I would post the coordinates for a puzzle cache - seems to me it would be bad form. (That said, I will contact the owner of the one box I found that was hidden in a way that might create a social trail.)

Edited by Lightning Jeff
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