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Park District approval

Kyle S

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To whom it may concern,


The following is an email memo I sent to my Administrators today:


Geocaching has become a fun pastime in our urban parks. Adults and children alike participate, and often this pastime is a family activity that encourages cooperation and problem-solving, plus provides an opportunity for people to seek out urban natural areas often overlooked in our busy lives.


I spent October 12 and 13, 2002, checking on Geocaches in Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District parks. I visited 26 parks and 23 caches, almost all of which were in natural areas. As a result of my survey this weekend I am pleased to report no significant adverse impacts to the natural areas as a result of Geocaching activities. In several cases, minor trails had developed as a result of the few people seeking the caches, but these were comparable to animal trails typically found in the woods, not to human trails characterized by bare, compacted dirt and scattered litter. Stumps and snags are often used as hiding places and none of those currently being used were torn apart or otherwise degraded. On the contrary, they showed little evidence of being used as hiding places for the Geocaches.


The Geocaching.com organization encourages Geocachers and cache seekers to pick up trash when using natural areas. I have kept up an ongoing dialogue with several local Geocachers and have been kept informed of things such as litter, inappropriate use of natural areas, and homeless encampments. They have responded quickly when I have raised concerns about safety and have endeavored to work with me at every opportunity. In one case a physical cache was changed to a virtual cache in one of our sensitive natural areas, a good example of the efforts to respect the natural areas of the District.


An added benefit of this activity is the introduction of people to little-known parks throughout the District. I feel this increases awareness of the sensitivity of our urban natural areas and further encourages stewardship.


Because of this ethic of stewardship and cooperation with myself and other District personnel, and because of the educational aspect of the cooperation and problem-solving, I believe Geocaching to be a positive influence in our District. I hope to continue the positive relationship I've developed with Geocaching.com and the numerous Geocachers and cache seekers in our area.




Thank you,

Kyle Spinks


Natural Resources Technician

Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District

15707 SW Walker Road

Beaverton, Oregon 97006

503-645-3539 x528

fax 503-614-9514


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Thanks for giving us a chance and making an educated(or experienced) decision about Geocaching! And, thanks for sending those encouraging words about our local Geo-community.


After hearing about some bad situations between cachers and parks departments in other areas across the country, it makes me very thankful that we have such a great relationship with the THPRD.


This makes me want to contact Hillsboro Parks and Rec to see what their thoughts are about our game. I already know that Hillsboro police are familiar with it icon_biggrin.gif


Thanks again for your efforts! I hope to see you log some of my caches, and perhaps hide a few of your own... After all, you're probably the one person who knows all the good hiding spots icon_wink.gif





N 45 30.ish

W 122 58.ish

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I'm not even from Oregon and I'm glad you are on our side! Hopefully more park rangers around the country will be as open minded as you have been. I also hope geocachers in other areas realize that working with the parks instead of against them is in everyones best interest.


smile02.gif If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people??



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Kyle: Would you re-post this Topic with your letter in the General section of the forums so the rest of the country can see your positive experiences. It would help us a lot especially in areas where many forest managers might have a dim view of us and what we are doing.





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Your memo was such good news., and also so right on. In the last two days alone I took Mrs. sassquatch to two differents parks that I first found by geocaching. We hiked the trails, saw a couple snakes, and some great water views. Tungsten Jihad! hit the nail on the head, bring a desidnated driver. Thanks for your help.

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Well, only in the PacNW, to be fair.

What an amazing show of support! As an eastsider, i'm almost a little jealous.

The Cornelius Pass Roadhouse would make a great place to have a THPRD Appreciation event cache, don't y'all think?


all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed

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I for one would jump at the opportunity to thank Kyle. I'll even spring for his meal at the Roadhouse.


Tues, Wed, or better yet Thurs. nights are good for me.


If someone with a little more free time than me wants to arrange it I will definately try to be there. Kyle has done a lot to promote the game in the Washington County area. icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gificon_biggrin.gif


KTF !!! GBWY !!!

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Yeah, well, i WOULD suggest that we meet at a nearby THPRD park for some afternoon litter removal, but they all seem so clean and well-kept. icon_smile.gif


But seriously folks, if anyone can think of a THPRD park that needs a little TLC (ivy/trash removal, trail maint, etc), then i'm sure we could somehow work that into our normal event-cache schedule of lager, porter, and ale. Right?


all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed

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