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MissJenn

CITO Event tips from '03 event organizers

35 posts in this topic

Last year, we had a lot of CITO events.

In 2003, geocachers around the world organized 67 cleanup events in 5 countries and 28 States. There were 1180 unique logs posted showing participation in these events, and hundreds more acted locally in recognition of this important day.

Most of them went really well. What sorts of tips and tricks did you implement to make it go well?

Also, I imagine that at the end of the day, some event organizers said to themselves: "Selves, you know what would have been a good idea? Doing that instead of this! I wish I would have thought of that at 8am this morning."

 

How about you veterans from last year help us out as we plan for this year?

CITO events require some planning that may be a bit different than picnics, meet-n-greets, etc.

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Buttered Cat Lady was asking me some questions by e-mail, since I organized a CITO event in Western PA last year and she is running one in Eastern PA this year. We thought it would be nice to have this forum topic so everyone benefits from each other's tips. I'll start with two:

 

1. Meet with the park in advance to identify targeted cleanup areas. Then, be thinking of how you will staff them. It only takes a few people to walk down a trail and pick up litter along the way, but a littered hillside is best tackled by a large group. When everyone arrives, you need to split them up FAST into groups and get them onto the trail towards campsite loop A or the beach or the Forest Trail. Save a close-by area for cleanup by any stragglers. Someone should stay at the posted coordinates for "home base"... the picnic shelter or wherever you're gathering... to direct traffic and answer questions.

 

2. Don't forget to ask everyone to take photos of their haul. If there is a centralized pickup spot, the photo will be more impressive. Get deputies to be in charge of each cleanup group, to be responsible for trashbags, tools, trash dropoff point, etc., and be sure there is a camera for each group.

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OK. I get the idea about contacting the park manager. I guess I should clarify. I have an urban woodlot cache that needs cleaned up. My problem is I don't know who is resposible for this property. It is public property but I can't seem to find out who I need to contact about this. Any ideas?

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My problem is I don't know who is resposible for this property.

One idea is to post this same question, with a link to your cache, in your local forum. Someone who caches in your area might have some useful information.

 

Another idea: check with your very local government. For me, it would be the Township Authority where I pay my local tax bill.

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Good topic MissJenn.

 

Any tips on what to do with the trash that is collected?

 

We are planning to clean up a rails-to-trails trail. In addition to the regular trash, there are lots of appliances and tires. The trail group doesnt have the funds to take care of the disposal, and the land fill wont waive the fees for us. I suspect we will "pass the hat" and hope we get enough to cover it.

 

Any other suggestions?

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Not sure about appliances and such, but for the trash we collected last year, I was able to get the park manager to get a dumpster moved to our meeting point. It made for a good photo op with all the bags collected.

 

I whole-heartedly agree with Lep about picking spots ahead of time. I had contacted the Jax Parks Dept to explain the idea, and for suggestions on which park to hold the event. Since they suggested 8 or 10 parks, I went around to several of them, spotted the areas that would be good candidates, then described each on the event page for participants to vote on which park they thought was best. It worked out really well - we knew what to expect, and how to divide everyone up once they got there.

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I was wondering what other people or groups are doing (or have done) in regards to liability?

Are you paying for event insurance? some other insurance(s)? waviers?

 

Thanks for any advice.

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I was wondering what other people or groups are doing (or have done) in regards to liability?

Are you paying for event insurance? some other insurance(s)? waviers?

 

Most parks will have a standard waiver form that they use for volunteers of all sorts. If you're holding your event in an undeveloped area, I would think that the Geocaching Disclaimer would be sufficient. Carleen might have a better take on that point, though.

 

Cache seekers assume all risks involved in seeking a cache.

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Any tips on what to do with the trash that is collected?

 

We are planning to clean up a rails-to-trails trail.

I went to Rails To Trails dot org and found a link to these guys:

At the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), we can help you learn how to use TE funds to revitalize the transportation experience in your community.  In addition to the information offered on this Web site, we offer free technical support and documents on TE.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) also a has a TE Web site where you can access technical guidance and legislation relating to TE.

Maybe that's the kind of thing you can ask them about ... If you do call them, let us know how it turns out.

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I was wondering what other people or groups are doing (or have done) in regards to liability?

I approached my State Park ranger with the CITO idea, and he said "sure!" We never once talked about liability insurance.

 

I'm not sure of this is bad or good. I imagine, now that your question made me think of it, that our group would/might fall under the same arrangement that is already in place (or not in place) for the regular Tuesday Group that he has who does clean-up activities in the summertime.

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Last year I helped coordinate a CITO event in New York. Unfortunately the weather turned to torrential rainfall and we only had 7 people show up. Here are some ideas I had then and since then.

 

I stopped by the local Dunkin’ doughnuts on my way and bought 3 coffees in a box (enough for 30 cups of coffee) and 3 dozen donuts. It cost about $35. I also own a 5 gallon water jug (the kind used for outdoor sports games) that I filled with water and ice. So for a little less than $50 and some planning a great time can be had by almost 25 people.

 

I called the park commission ahead of time and they provided and dumpster and a permit, They knew about geocaching and felt it was no more intrusive than hiking. It turned out to be a great ice breaker with the park.

 

Three hours was about as long as I wanted to try and keep people cleaning. I figured after that they would get tired and bored.

 

One of the folks was going to bring a cache container and everyone could help fill it. After the event one person could be elected to hide it. If I can think of anything else I’ll edit this post.

 

This is part of the CITO web page from 2003

 

April 26th is CITO Day

 

Join us at the Lake xxxxxx/Lake xxxxxx parking area to

 

Cache in and Trash out

 

Time 10am-1pm

 

This area is filled with some great caches and some not so great trash.

 

 

 

After scouting this area as a possible trash out for the xxxxxxxx and myself, I realized that more of a crew would be needed to really make a difference.

 

Bring gloves and water. Garbage bags will be supplied.

 

A permit has been issued and the park is behind us in this endeavor.

 

A Pavilion with coffee, doughnuts and water will be supplied.

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Well, in Wichita, we had our 1st CITO last year. Not only did we invite the local Parks and Rec guy in charge of our parks, but I worked with him to set up a multicache http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=64448 in the park. The park is an area that is being restored to its natural habitat, and there were a series of educational markers describing the plants and animals that once inhabited the area before man came along, and those that are being reintroduced. They also described the ecosystems. I got him to go around and help me set up the questions and clues (thus giving him some ownership) and we identified areas that could use some cleaning.

 

We also had another cacher set up a new cache in the park, and both his and my caches were unveiled at the CITO. We also took the Parks and Rec guy out to find a cache already in the park so he could see how we geocache.

 

Basically, we resolved any worries that the Parks and Rec folks had about caching in our parks, gave the attendees a chance to bag 3 caches (including the CITO), cleaned up a park, and in general had a blast!

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Never been in a CITO before, but I started brainstorming and jotting notes down. Currenty the Work Breakdown Structure of the project looks like this (sorry, I'm a Project Engineer by day...) :

 

(Note: these are just tasks to execute our CITO. Once we get the activities listed, we hopefully assign some responsible people and schedule them)

 

Draft Work Breakdown Structure for

Cache In - Trash Out - Sudbury Ontaro 2004

 

1. Location: To be determined. Currently discussing with city and

other groups.

1.1 Find an area that needs clean up.

1.2 prefer parkland, trail area, geocaching friendly

 

2. Supplies

2.1 Bags for trash, recycling

2.2 Gloves or other protective gear

2.3 Bathrooms for volunteers?

2.4 Food for volunteers? or does everyone Brown bag?

2.5 First Aid? consider cuts, bruises, etc.

2.6 Drinking water

 

3. Removal

3.1 Once the trash is collected and piled in a central area, determine

if the city/waste-company will pick it up for the dump.

Consider recyclables. Consider if city will leave a truck for the day.

3.2 Large items - if there are items too big for people to carry. Volunteer

with a quad and trailer?

 

4.0 Announcements / Communication

4.1 Post announcement on geocaching.com

4.2 Written media release for Norlife, SudStar, TheBox, CBC, french media?

 

5.0 Day Schedule

5.1 Kids activities

5.2 Mini-caches

5.3 Sponsor prizes? Consdier places that sell GPS equipment, plus

others that are community focused.

5.4 Contingency plan for bad weather?

5.5 Work Area assignments - how many people to work in each area - consider

late arrivals

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It was pretty basic really. Couple of bulk boxes of hotdogs from Sam's club, some hotdog buns and fixings. Everyone brought their own gloves and a dish to share. DNR & Local Grocery stores donated trash bags, the DNR provided the dumpster and a local town donated the pavillion in thanks.

 

3 hours of cleanup, followed by a cookout.

 

This year we're looking at a County park. They have agreed to provide the dumpster, trash bags, and shelter. We're providing the bodies, hot dogs and 3-4 hours of cleanup.

 

Hardest things are finding somewhere that *really* needs the help (a lot of the parks around here are actually quite clean... 50 people would be pretty bored with a cleanup...) and in a spot where we can find someone willing to donate trash removal. That and the CITO shirt order were the most complicated things.

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Does anyone involve non-caching groups like the scouts or local churches in their cleanups? Wouldn't hurt to get the word out locally about the cleanup. Some people might show up just to help.

 

Last year we had several cars stop and thank us and one person even brought us several two liters of pop as a thank you gift. If people in the area knew it was going to happen (the muggles) it'd be a good chance to get more people out and helping and to introduce some of the world to geocaching in a very positive way.

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5.4 Contingency plan for bad weather?

That's a tough one.

 

Does anyone involve non-caching groups like the scouts or local churches in their cleanups?  Wouldn't hurt to get the word out locally about the cleanup.
We are trying to work with a girl scout group and also the local orienteering organization.

 

I think I may make a sign (sandwich board or canvas banner, maybe?) to place along the roadside. This may attract some good local attention IF anyone drives by at the time we are there.

Edited by MissJenn
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Good Topic!

 

The suggestions I had from our Tulsa Parks CITO day last year.

 

1. Do food first - you won't want to eat after when you are dirty and nasty from all the trash. Plus the food brings in people. We did a pot-luck brunch/picnic. As the sponser I brought 50 pieces of chicken which is cheap from Wal-Mart. Everyone else brought drinks, a CITO cake, and other sides and snacks. Food make people happy and ready to work.

 

2. As mentioned CALL FIRST! - Some parks have policies on cleaning up believe it or not. We work with Tulsa Parks Department. They love us for it. They even have a geocaching and letterboxing class at the nature center now! Approach them first and volunteer your time. Most all park people (state and local) I have worked with are more than happy to give you as many trash bags as you need. If you give them time they will usually assign a dumpster for you to use that they will haul off. They even provided us with a few pick up sticks and other cleaning tools.

 

3. Bring Gloves - People forget, remind everyone to bring a good pair of work gloves. You will need them and leather is best. Rubber if you are working around waterways. Never hurts to have a few extra pairs on hand. You should stress this a lot so that everyone is prepared and safe. There are sometime things in parks you want to be very careful picking up if you know what I mean. Having gloves limits the next topic greatly!

 

4. Liability - Again ask the parks department. Ours has a volunteer form they use. It holds the person liable and not the park for injury. It also lets them use any footage or photos royalty free for their purposes. In addition it has lines for listing emergency contact information if there is an accident.

 

5. Take lots of photos - Last year I scouted the park the night before and took before photos and took waypoints of hot spots. Then I could go back and take after photos. When you are done with the event post the photos to your event page. Tell people to upload photos and log the cache. Then e-mail the parks department a link to the cache page so they can see what you did. Send the person you worked with a CD full of photos of the event as well. Park workers love this kind of stuf to show their bosses, city council members, and even the mayor. "See, this why geocaching is good for our parks," they can say.

 

6. Prizes neve hurt - I gave away a few CITO shirts last year as prizes for the hardest workers that brought in the biggest haul. You shouldn't have to give prizes to get people to work but it keeps people interested and coming back. Makes them feel really good about what they did and rewards those people that deserve it.

 

7. Have fun - Never thought picking up trash could be so much fun. We had a blast last year. Looking forward to it again. The parks department is actually looking forward to us coming back again as well after the last event. See look at all these happy people! If you only knew the smell of death coming from that brown trash can behind us, you really be laughing.

CITO1.jpg

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Does anyone reccomend a big sign or banner for the command center type place?

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from honeychile:

I've only been involved in one and my only words of wisdom are to take plenty of heavy duty plastic bags, gloves, etc.  Bring shovels, pitchforks, and your walking stick (very handy to get trash out of icky places).  Have a washtub of ice with plenty of water or cold drinks.  As a reward, we had two caches hidden for the event that day (coordinates passed out at the event and webpage updated later). We also had a drawing for t-shirts and free buttons (haha) for everyone. I also followed up with the group afterward thanking each one and sharing a letter from the park director.  That's all, folks!

 

honeychile

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We are working backwards into our CITO event, piggybacking it onto an already-arranged City Event. The city gets volunteers, cachers get an event find, and all we have to do is make the cache page (and pick up trash, of course), and everybody looks good. How cool is that?

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Hopefully, event organizers and others will add their thoughts here now that many CITO events have already happened ...

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I started this as seperate thread, but it makes sense to keep things together (to simplify our lives next year :(

 

Here is what I learned from the Eastern Iowa Geocachers Association events:

 

- More may be better. We had three seperate events that were spread around our area. Each was very well attended, IMO, because people didnt have to drive as far. An added benefit is that we helped three parks instead of one and we got media coverage on three events instead of one.

 

- Find a park that will work with you. When we started planning an event it was to be along a rails-to-trails trail. The trail organization was thrilled that we wanted to clean it up, but they had no money to provide bags or to haul away the trash. We were unable to find a sponsor so we found another location instead (actually this is when we split to three locations). The new locations all provided bags and removal, one even provided some items for door prizes.

 

- "Officially" contact the media. Of our three events, each organized by a different member, two had media coverage. One organizer sent out a press release and had a local TV crew and reporters from two local newspapers. One member contacted "an uncle" at the newspaper. Though the uncle did show up and take photos, he had thought it was the following weekend and had to be called to remind him. I wonder if an "official" contact such as a press release would have made a difference.

 

- Just do it, If you build it they will come and expect the unexpected. Enough cliches? What I mean is, dont worry about finding out if there is "enough" interest, just post the event. People will show up. And dont try to judge how good the turn out will be from the number of "I plan to come" logs. Again, people will show up.

 

- Be careful not to overestimate how much area can be covered. When I looked at the area we had planned to cover, it seemed small. By the time we got to the end, we were all ready to be done.

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- Find a park that will work with you. When we started planning an event it was to be along a rails-to-trails trail. The trail organization was thrilled that we wanted to clean it up, but they had no money to provide bags or to haul away the trash. We were unable to find a sponsor so we found another location instead (actually this is when we split to three locations). The new locations all provided bags and removal, one even provided some items for door prizes.

This is key! Work with them and let them in on the event. It's really nice to hear things like this from park staff.

 

"Thanks so much to everyone who organized the event, and turned out to help! The photos and report of an impressive ten cubic yards of trash removed (again!) are already circulating at Parks Department and Public Works staff meetings, building on geocaching's good reputation."

 

- "Officially" contact the media. Of our three events, each organized by a different member, two had media coverage. One organizer sent out a press release and had a local TV crew and reporters from two local newspapers. One member contacted "an uncle" at the newspaper. Though the uncle did show up and take photos, he had thought it was the following weekend and had to be called to remind him. I wonder if an "official" contact such as a press release would have made a difference.

 

Good point, I really should have done this this year. I will have to remember that for next year.

 

- Be careful not to overestimate how much area can be covered. When I looked at the area we had planned to cover, it seemed small. By the time we got to the end, we were all ready to be done.

 

VERY good point. You can cover a lot of ground quickly! Pick an area that you know is really trashy. Not just your favorite park. We had about 15 people both years. As you can see from the above comment we had at least 10 cubic yards each year. Scout out illegal trash piles and mark them with your GPS. At the event hand out a list of key spots, mark it and they will clean.

Edited by beatnik
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I agree that working closely with the Park's staff was key to my event working out well.

 

By cooperating with the Park, we made a much greater impact. The coordinated effort of geocachers, Park staff, girl scouts, middle schoolers, and orienteerers was much more effective and fun since we attacked the dump together. Smaller and separate efforts might have worked, but this one united event kicked much more butt.

 

The other key was weather:

rain on Friday

beautiful on CITO Saturday

rain on Sunday

rain on Monday

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Hey all,

Is there anything set up like this in the Wisconsin parks?? If so I need the information for it. Just joined and would like to find out more in all topics. :unsure: Just a rookie for now. Thanks again too 12up & Welch!!

The Tapps

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Hi Tapps. I'm honored that this is your very first post! Welcome to the Forums.

 

Most of the activity regarding CITO happens around April. If any local events are going on, you might see it in your State Page - check with those lcoal organizations listed, too.

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This is such a good topic. I'm bumping it back up since Groundspeak is again sponsoring the Third Annual International Cache In Trash Out Day on April 16th, 2005.

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I listed one for April 16th: GCN70E

 

CITO & Come Meet the Frog!

 

It's at Flushing Meadows Park, south of the big globe and saucers. C'mon over! :(

 

Hey, I gotta meet you reclusive folks somehow!

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I would like to get this caution out to all cachers planning to do some CITO:

 

In addition to geocaching, I work at at a nature center. Last week my boss had a scary encounter with what seemed like an unpleasant but ordinary piece of trash next to the road. A closed 5-gallon plastic bucket turned out to contain a VERY strong and volatile acid, and in moments the fumes gave him acid burns on his face and in his lungs. It was probably meth-related, and the hazmat guys told him that if he had opened a bucket of cooking meth, the explosion would have killed him (not "could have" but "would have".)

 

Apparently the latest gig with meth-production is to leave an anonymous looking closed bucket sitting somewhere out in the landscape, in a park, in an overgrown field, even at a fairly remote site that also happens to serve as a school bus stop. That way, if the meth explodes during the several weeks that the ingredients must "cook", it won't take out the house or the van anymore. It would seem that they are also disposing of their unwanted by-products in a similar fashion.

 

Our entire Parks Department will be going through training from the Fire Department's Hazmat Unit, to learn to recognize the more commonly used formats we might encounter. Meanwhile, with CITO events coming up, no matter how much we want to know what weird item is in the bucket, we all need to LEAVE THE SEALED BUCKETS ALONE and call someone with the appropriate hazardous materials training and gear to deal with it. Yes, this is from the woman who picks up dead skunks and bottles of rotting snake as part of her CITO work.

 

We might also rethink the idea of large geocaches looking like anonymous sealed buckets. I think it's time for some clearly visible labeling.

-Donna

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I am organizing a local city park cito event.

As this is my first hosted event I did alot of research first.

I spoke with city parks manager first with ideas. Then we walked

the park and they showed me areas that could use some attention.

I also asked for garbage bags etc and was given many.

 

I spoke with local merchants to help sponsor as well. BBQ and prize

donations etc. I got alot of help there.

 

Emailed a few local papers to get this advertised and out to the public.

Excellent response there.

 

When event is published on GC site I will also post event on Facebook to

help attract even more volunteers.

 

I asked for help from friends etc. As a helper and volunteer for many of

the events leading up to GW8 I learned that successful events cant be done

by yourself.

 

Besides the cleanup I plan on BBQ, Scavenger hunt, Unique Trash collected prizes

and usual raffle giveaways to keep it interesting and not just the usual CITO.

 

I am not limiting this to just geocachers, but to all who enjoy the park and the

outdoors. Also helps promote geocaching and Groundspeak to non-geocachers too.

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I listed one for April 16th: GCN70E

 

CITO & Come Meet the Frog!

 

It's at Flushing Meadows Park, south of the big globe and saucers. C'mon over! :(

 

Hey, I gotta meet you reclusive folks somehow!

 

Sorry, joe, I can't make yours because I'm hosting a CITO event on the same day here in Guam, USA!! Good luck on yours!

rhodesisland

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I know these posts are a little old, but really helpful. I'm new to geocaching, only a year in, but I work for a large company & am on the community service committee, 1 of our 3 main focuses is environment, & what a fabulous way to combine my new addiction with my civic volunteerism. If the group that I end up working with is a 503c group then I can even get matching funds. I'm sure I can get my company to donate the trashbags & thick rubber gloves since we use tons of them & probably even sandwich meat. I would even be willing to purchase several Earth Day trackable coins to put out in caches that you get coords to once you get there. But this seems like a little bit of a daunting task to plan alone, especially after reading the engineers project list.

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Does anyone know of a brochure for CITO events? I am planning an event for the end of April and I want to have printed info to share with business. Yes I could make one myself but why re-invent the wheel

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