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Mn-treker

Covid19 causing some parks to close

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Posted (edited)

I just found that the city of Spring Lake Park, MN has closed all parks to visitors. Any body caught in the park will be arrested as per the police.

So I looked around my area and find a miss mash of closures and partial closures. So I suggest that those of us that have hides check and disable to prevent arrest.

And those that make new hides check and check again. This popped up due to a new hide published yesterday. I see on the cities web site that the order went out on the 16th to close the parks.

So that means that neither the hider nor the reviewer checked. An extra note here the police have posted signs at the parks stating this fact.

Also the city of St Paul has closed the parks there. These closings are the actual grounds not just any buildings.

Edited by Mn-treker

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A few days ago, Florida State Parks cancelled all activities and events, and limited capacity in  parks with beaches and swimming areas, to keep people well separated.  This has meant that one of the state's annual geocaching camping events has been cancelled.  At this time, the parks remain opened,  so a person can go and find caches. Just not in a group.

 

Some of this state's city and county beach parks are closed, a response to Spring Break crowds of young adults, ignoring requests not to gather.

 

  I just got a refund from the county park where my Community Celebration Event was scheduled. They didn't send an explanatory email, tell me anything about why, like, "no events", but they did send my money back, I can take the clue. ;-)  I was hoping that late May might be okay, but that seems very likely now anyway.

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4 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

So I suggest that those of us that have hides check and disable to prevent arrest.

 

Quote

While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, portions may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on information obtained from Geocaching.com does so at his or her own risk.

 

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Being that these closures are lawful orders, to enter is criminal trespass. I sure hope that Groundspeak is not promoting trespass.

Our reviewers here claim to have such a good relationship with the parks but yet publish a hide in a known closed park that is posted closed.

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Posted (edited)

  

1 hour ago, Mn-treker said:

I sure hope that Groundspeak is not promoting trespass.

 

Congrats, your hopes have been realized! Groundspeak is not promoting trespass.

 

Curious, did you contact any of those reviewers or cache owners with this info?  Or just assume that the first thing that every reviewer needs to do every day is check a "mish mash" of city and county and state sites for closures and partial closures? I wonder how many city park departments there are in Minnesota?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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12 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

So I suggest that those of us that have hides check and disable to prevent arrest.

I prefer not to think of it as an arrest, but more of a forced quarantine.  I'm beginning to think that social distancing on social media might be a good thing.

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Posted (edited)

Yes i did contact them with no response or action taken. I have also been told by our reviewers that they have a very good relationship with all of the parks departments in the state.

Cough cough! Do you really think I believe that. I have had my own talks with some park departments. Response, who? Huh?

Edited by Mn-treker
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Nearly every small, local park in my area's "officially" closed.  

Today on the news, a section was devoted to how people are heading outdoors, "hiking" those same parks for fresh air and exercise.   :)

A park near me is "closed" all winter long.  Every day there's dog-walkers on it, and I accessed a few caches there as well, in the snow.

Game lands and most state parks still open.

 

So a park somewhere has made it a criminal offense for taxpayers to access that property.  They have their reasons I guess...

Elsewhere "closings" aren't quite as clear (vehicles maybe...), and for now it seems the managers of those properties are leaving it up to it's citizens. 

 - They covered themselves from any issues they felt they had by posting ...

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Posted (edited)

I've noticed that in various places around the world, where they've implemented tight lockdowns (essential trips only, like groceries), they usually include exercise as a valid reason.  Bravo!

 

But not in MN, apparently.

 

If it comes to that here, I'm going to choose grocery stores clear across town for my errands on the bike.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
MN, NM, whatever
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Minnesota state parks are open. County parks where I have hides are open. If a city has closed its parks, I hope they post it somewhere at the entrance to the park. Otherwise, how do they expect peple to know?

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15 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

  I wonder how many city park departments there are in Minnesota?

 

 

 

 

The OP referenced only one municipality in Minnesota.

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Local closures aren't necessarily info a Reviewer has handy.

 

Also, if Reviewers are supposed to check if a park is currently open despite Coronavirus shouldn't they be checking if the park is open without Coronavirus? Parks close for construction, prescribed burns, storm damage, and various other reasons. There have been a number of occasions when I arrived at a park, for geocaching or other purposes, only to unexpectedly find it closed.

 

If a park is open sunrise to sunset is the Reviewer not allowed to publish a cache there at 10 PM? The FTF hounds might not wait until dawn!

 

Geocachers are supposed to follow all applicable laws when geocaching. That means not knowingly trespassing, obeying posted hours and temporary closures, and obeying quarantines. 

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On 3/21/2020 at 8:48 PM, msrubble said:

Minnesota state parks are open. County parks where I have hides are open. If a city has closed its parks, I hope they post it somewhere at the entrance to the park. Otherwise, how do they expect peple to know?

 

This.

 

And if the properly posted closed sign isn't going to stop geocachers do you (the collective) really think Groundspeak is going to have any effect?

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Why is this thread about parks in the city of Spring Lake Park, MN here instead of the Midwest subforum?

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21 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

Why is this thread about parks in the city of Spring Lake Park, MN here instead of the Midwest subforum?

1.  Because parks can close in other places, too.

2.  Because conversations get more attention here than in a regional subforum.

3.  Because we are living in extraordinary times.

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1.  Because parks can close in other places, too.

Should we have a separate thread for each and every local policy from around the globe? Each without mentioning the location of said policy in the thread title of course.

 

Quote

2.  Because conversations get more attention here than in a regional subforum.

Indeed, including the attention of people who live nowhere near Spring Lake Park, Minnesota or the United States. What's the point of regional subforums if not to discuss regional matters?

 

Quote

3.  Because we are living in extraordinary times.

You can justify anything with this, but regional American topics in the main forum are a regular annoyance, predating the pandemic.

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On 3/21/2020 at 4:01 AM, Mn-treker said:

Being that these closures are lawful orders, to enter is criminal trespass. I sure hope that Groundspeak is not promoting trespass.

Our reviewers here claim to have such a good relationship with the parks but yet publish a hide in a known closed park that is posted closed.

Your reviewer is VERY unlikely to be a local to your town, and with the complete mish-mash of local rules, which have been fluid in any case, I don't understand why you would believe a reviewer would have information for every locale within their large region of operation readily at hand.

 

This situation IS NOT consistent across governmental agencies and IS fluid.  Reset expectations regarding local knowledge, please.

 

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Every city and state are responding differently to this covid19. Such a shame. But the chief of police has spoken to me about this issue. He tried to use the lawenforcement link on the cache page but got no response from the reviewer nor Groundspeak as to the criminal act of placing and publushing that geocache. He is not happy with what went on there. Now their name is mud. Both the reviewer and Groundspeak. I don't really agree with closing the parks but that park was posted with no tresspass signs by the police. The park is now open though. Fat lot of good closing it does. Getting out helps healing.

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1 hour ago, Mn-treker said:

Every city and state are responding differently to this covid19. Such a shame.

Why is that a shame? Different cities and states (and countries) have different situations. Their responses should match their situations, not different situations that exist elsewhere.

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All state parks and forests and county parks in New Jersey are closing today.  Such a shame.

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2 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

Every city and state are responding differently to this covid19. Such a shame. But the chief of police has spoken to me about this issue. He tried to use the lawenforcement link on the cache page but got no response from the reviewer nor Groundspeak as to the criminal act of placing and publushing that geocache. He is not happy with what went on there. Now their name is mud. Both the reviewer and Groundspeak.

I don't know the cache in question but it could have been placed well before any bans were in place. Many caches are placed well ahead of publishing while the CO sets up their page listing. As for publishing. What law exists to ban it being listed on an online website?

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18 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

Every city and state are responding differently to this covid19. Such a shame. But the chief of police has spoken to me about this issue. He tried to use the lawenforcement link on the cache page but got no response from the reviewer nor Groundspeak as to the criminal act of placing and publushing that geocache. He is not happy with what went on there. Now their name is mud. Both the reviewer and Groundspeak. I don't really agree with closing the parks but that park was posted with no tresspass signs by the police. The park is now open though. Fat lot of good closing it does. Getting out helps healing.

 

I see you've recently found caches in Closed Minnesota parks. So the mud isn't limited to the reviewer and Groundspeak.

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Posted (edited)

"Covid19 causing some parks to close"

From everything I've seen and heard its the ones gathering in the parks, beaches etc playing football, b-ball and generally disregarding social distancing that are causing park closures.

Officials see people cant behave and react.

Its not the virus causing the closures.

 

Edited by RocTheCacheBox

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On 3/20/2020 at 4:09 PM, Mn-treker said:

I just found that the city of Spring Lake Park, MN has closed all parks to visitors. Any body caught in the park will be arrested as per the police.

Link? 

 

It's been a couple of weeks so maybe the parks have reopened. When I looked just now I don't see an mention of them being closed. They have canceled in person events but that's it. Here's my link.

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On 3/20/2020 at 4:09 PM, Mn-treker said:

Also the city of St Paul has closed the parks there. These closings are the actual grounds not just any buildings.

Looks like these have reopened too. (or were never closed <_<

Here's a link...and a quote:

 

Quote

 

Parks and Trails 

Saint Paul parks and trails remain open. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation urges all park users to follow these guidelines: 

 

 

 

On 3/20/2020 at 4:09 PM, Mn-treker said:

So that means that neither the hider nor the reviewer checked.

Or you didn't. Wouldn't it have been better to get your facts straight before coming here and criticizing your reviewer and Geocaching.com?

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On 4/7/2020 at 4:02 PM, Mn-treker said:

Every city and state are responding differently to this covid19. Such a shame.

Maybe they are responding differently because every city and state may not be the same? My county has gone above state guidelines and has closed all hotels, motels, RV parks, and anything else that can be used as temporary lodging. The adjoining county sheriff has made the statement "if you don't have a firearm, now is the time to buy one". Would the policies in place here work in your area?

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On 4/7/2020 at 2:02 PM, Mn-treker said:

I don't really agree with closing the parks but that park was posted with no tresspass signs by the police.

It would be good if the CO didn't submit a cache in a park that was closed, but maybe he planted the cache before and didn't realize it had been closed.

 

It would be good if the reviewer didn't publish a cache in a park that's closed, but information is flying fast and furious, and sometimes health closures aren't easy to detect in on-line resources, if they're posted there at all.

 

But the bottom line is that seekers are ultimately responsible for walking past posted no trespassing signs. Neither the CO nor the reviewer are responsible for that.

 

On 4/7/2020 at 2:02 PM, Mn-treker said:

But the chief of police has spoken to me about this issue. He tried to use the lawenforcement link on the cache page but got no response from the reviewer nor Groundspeak as to the criminal act of placing and publushing that geocache. He is not happy with what went on there. Now their name is mud. Both the reviewer and Groundspeak.

I'm surprised GS didn't react when contacted by an official. That's another matter. They are usually very responsive to complaints, and rightly so. It's impossible for either COs or reviewers to anticipate every possible problem, so GS usually makes up for it by immediately jumping in when a problem is reported to them.

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21 hours ago, bflentje said:

 

I see you've recently found caches in Closed Minnesota parks. So the mud isn't limited to the reviewer and Groundspeak.

Sorry dude I have not been to any closed parks.

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19 hours ago, MtnGoat50 said:

Link? 

 

It's been a couple of weeks so maybe the parks have reopened. When I looked just now I don't see an mention of them being closed. They have canceled in person events but that's it. Here's my link.

Yes the hide happened after the park was closed. The Chief of police talked to me about this hide. He tried to contact both the reviewer and Groundspeak about this hide.

Both refused to respond to him. And also there was a sign posted by the police before the cache owner made the hide. Should the reviewer have known better?

In my and the Chiefs view YES! due to the fact that our reviewers claim to have such good relations with all the parks. We have many parks here with rules about placement of geocache.

As far as the city of ST Paul parks go, they had closed their parks as well but also seem to have opened them back up. The parks in Spring Lake park have also reopened.

Also Bflentje I would suggest you check my finds again. Not one find in any park after a closing. My log in the hide in question is not a find. I still have not been there.

A former Reviewer brought the closure to our attention, I then went to the city to find info and posted it to the cahe page.

 

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58 minutes ago, Mn-treker said:

Yes the hide happened after the park was closed. The Chief of police talked to me about this hide. He tried to contact both the reviewer and Groundspeak about this hide.

Both refused to respond to him. And also there was a sign posted by the police before the cache owner made the hide. Should the reviewer have known better?

In my and the Chiefs view YES! due to the fact that our reviewers claim to have such good relations with all the parks. We have many parks here with rules about placement of geocache.

As far as the city of ST Paul parks go, they had closed their parks as well but also seem to have opened them back up. The parks in Spring Lake park have also reopened.

Also Bflentje I would suggest you check my finds again. Not one find in any park after a closing. My log in the hide in question is not a find. I still have not been there.

A former Reviewer brought the closure to our attention, I then went to the city to find info and posted it to the cahe page.

 

Is your concern the cache was published after the parks were closed or that you think the CO may have violated the order to hide the cache? You do know the publish and hidden dates listed on the cache page can be dated weeks after the cache is actually put in place, some of my caches have placed dates two weeks after the date I actually hid the container. If you haven't been in contact with the CO how are you determining the actual date he put the container in place?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

Yes the hide happened after the park was closed. The Chief of police talked to me about this hide. He tried to contact both the reviewer and Groundspeak about this hide.

Both refused to respond to him. And also there was a sign posted by the police before the cache owner made the hide. Should the reviewer have known better?

In my and the Chiefs view YES! due to the fact that our reviewers claim to have such good relations with all the parks. We have many parks here with rules about placement of geocache.

As far as the city of ST Paul parks go, they had closed their parks as well but also seem to have opened them back up. The parks in Spring Lake park have also reopened.

Also Bflentje I would suggest you check my finds again. Not one find in any park after a closing. My log in the hide in question is not a find. I still have not been there.

A former Reviewer brought the closure to our attention, I then went to the city to find info and posted it to the cahe page.

 

With no work right now I'm getting a few caches on most days. I've been to different metro parks here and haven't seen any closed. This is a good thing because sitting at home all day is not physically healthy. Fresh air and exercise is keeps one healthy. As for our volunteer reviewers, they do a great job. I recently had questions, he was very helpful answered quickly. I've never had problems with this Minnesota reviewer, maybe it was in the way you communicate.

Edited by rustynails.

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Once I start getting paid a salary and expenses, I'll be happy to start visiting each park prior to publication to see if someone has hammered a "closed" sign into the ground at the entrance, but didn't bother to say anything on their website.  Expect review turnaround time to expand to several weeks once this happens.

 

In the meantime, the cache owner is responsible for meeting the guidelines, which includes complying with all applicable laws and land manager policies.

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On 3/24/2020 at 12:24 AM, mustakorppi said:

Should we have a separate thread for each and every local policy from around the globe? Each without mentioning the location of said policy in the thread title of course.

 

Indeed, including the attention of people who live nowhere near Spring Lake Park, Minnesota or the United States. What's the point of regional subforums if not to discuss regional matters?

 

You can justify anything with this, but regional American topics in the main forum are a regular annoyance, predating the pandemic.

The funny thing is, Keystone is usually on your side of this debate. He has moved more threads out of the main forum to regional forums than probably all other moderators combined. Personally, I like scanning down the list of topics all in one place. Most topics are quickly forgotten and abandoned once they are moved.

I agree with all of Keystone's points here. I am very interested in how other parts of the country and the world are handling this crisis.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

A former Reviewer brought the closure to our attention, I then went to the city to find info and posted it to the cahe page.

I assume you're talking about the cache in Triangle park.

 

I don't see how the reviewer could have known the park was closed. If (and it's a big if) they made a mistake it was an honest one. I think the same is true of the cache owner.

On the other hand it was the FTF that brought it to your attention. The impression I get is they knew the park was closed but ignored it and found the cache anyway. 

Quote

 

(8:24) Co-FTF with -------. Made quick work at stage 1 but had a long search at stage 2 before hearing  “Ah-ha!”

FWIW- the park is posted as closed by order of the PD due to COVID-19.

 

 

That's not cool and neither are the 7 other found it logs during the time the park was, apparently, closed. 

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Of absolutely no interest to anybody but, Victoria park in Redruth, Cornwall, UK is still open.

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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

Someone logged a find today on one of my caches in one of the parks that is closed.

 

Not particularly wise, given that Big Brother could ask Big Frog for the cacher's contact info...

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Trespassing laws may vary from region to region, but to my knowledge, I don't believe trespassing can generally be charged unless caught in the act. Maybe some places allow any form of evidence to charge retroactively, but I remember seeing something about that loooong ago somewhere. IMO, it's not worth trying to find a way to get someone fined for trespassing just because they have a signature in the disabled logbook. You did your part by disabling. If they're trespassing, they're already risking being caught while doing it. HQ won't arbitrate what is/isn't trespassing all over the world, they'll leave that between the cache owner, the cacher, and their local authorities. If the signature is in the logbook, the Find log would be considered "valid" (and afaik, it's always been this way, regardless of local or worldwide pandemic orders)

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Some may see this as a regional thing, but it is not. Geeze the Gov. of Wisconsin just closed all State forests and State parks.

While here in Minnesota our Gov. realizes that to hit the woods and parks is a good thing. We just have a few cities that are having a knee jerk reaction.

The city council of spring Lake park saw the error of its ways and reopened all their parks but with covid19 guidelines.

Our stay at home/ safer at home order has a wide berth with it. Geeze 80% of us still get to go to work.

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38 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

HQ won't arbitrate what is/isn't trespassing all over the world, they'll leave that between the cache owner, the cacher, and their local authorities. If the signature is in the logbook, the Find log would be considered "valid" (and afaik, it's always been this way, regardless of local or worldwide pandemic orders)

For the moment the cache owner can't do anything to stop a trespasser from logging it. Even disabling doesn't work.

 

Groundspeak should update their guidelines to allow a cache owner to delete log if the geocacher did something illegal while finding it.

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33 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

For the moment the cache owner can't do anything to stop a trespasser from logging it. Even disabling doesn't work.

 

Groundspeak should update their guidelines to allow a cache owner to delete log if the geocacher did something illegal while finding it.

Do you mean like speeding to get to a FTF?

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We went last weekend and there are "closed" and crime scene tape at the entrance of the hiking trails in Los Angeles. The parks have been closed for weeks. Depending on time of day has really depended on police enforcement because we are on Marshall Law. Honestly there were tons of people on the trails so I think people take their own chance by risking it if they choose  and not the owner. 

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Our state has closed all the state parks and state forest lands and the Feds here have closed all the national forests here. I have checking the parks pages of the individual counties and cities to find places to geocache. Roads are not closed for travel-not yet anyway. There have been some local geocachers who've disabled their caches and state they will delete any finds made in this period (easily worked around, and you know how ;)). There is ample room for you to give the appropriate distance on the trails even if they are narrow (you may have to back track to a wide spot) Bring your own lunch, proper hand cleaning gear, a full gas tank and enjoy your day.

 

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1 hour ago, fendmar said:

Do you mean like speeding to get to a FTF?

No I meant trespassing in a closed park.

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2 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Groundspeak should update their guidelines to allow a cache owner to delete log if the geocacher did something illegal while finding it.

Do I understand correctly? Someone has demonstrated that they know where your cache is, and that they have little regard for laws and social conventions, and you want to provoke them by removing the smiley face they received for finding your cache?

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5 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

For the moment the cache owner can't do anything to stop a trespasser from logging it. Even disabling doesn't work.

 

Groundspeak should update their guidelines to allow a cache owner to delete log if the geocacher did something illegal while finding it.

 

And the CO could decide on whether or not someone's broken the law?

 

Where's that frog-eatin'-popcorn I-can't-wait-to-see-how-that-works emoji?

 

Oh, HERE it is!           :drama:

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5 hours ago, Mn-treker said:

Some may see this as a regional thing, but it is not. Geeze the Gov. of Wisconsin just closed all State forests and State parks.

 

 

That's not correct. There were 40 locations total that were closed. The list can be found here.

 

I do believe that all areas that the DNR maintains (parks, trails, rec areas) have closed their facilities (offices, bathrooms, shelters, etc), but access to the parks themselves, minus these 40 locations closed on April 10th, remain open. 

 

There are still plenty of state parks and recreational areas open in Wisconsin. Most of the ones on the list are around the more populated regions of Wisconsin and saw a huge spike in attendance last weekend.

 

While I don't personally agree with closing the parks, as you can use the trails and open areas safely,  it's hard to argue against the order when you see pictures of the parking lots full of cars and people in close quarters to each other. The impression that gives off is a bad look, even if everyone is social distancing and following safe practices. 

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