Units used to assist state park Geocache 2009 Program; contest ends Nov. 1
LAWRENCE — Last June, the Kansas Wildscape Foundation donated 30 Garmin eTrex handheld global positioning system (GPS) units to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) in support of their Geocache 2009 program. 2008 was the first year for the program, and many park attendees found out about the "treasure hunt" opportunity while at a park but did not have their own GPS units to participate. With the donated units, Wildscape hopes to provide a "loaner" to eager participants.

In the Geocache program, participants use hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) to find and open a hidden cache, where they will find the coordinates of a second cache site. Upon finding the second cache site, the participant will sign a log sheet and take a certificate to turn in to that park office. Then they will receive a park-specific location ink pen and the official statewide KDWP Geocaching Entry Form. Entry forms can be validated at all KDWP park and regional offices, as well as the Pratt Operations Office, for each second cache found.

Prizes will be awarded based first on how many points are earned. Every second geocache found at each participating location will be worth one point. Prizes will be awarded on a point and time system after the contest ends Nov. 1. First place prizes (maximum of 50 winners) will be a choice between two nights in a KDWP camping cabin or one annual camping permit for 2010. The first 50 participants to earn all of the 31 points and submit their forms win a first-place prize.

Those who earn 31 points but mail their forms in after the first 50 will receive second-place prizes, a choice between one night in a camping cabin or a 14-day camping permit for 2010. Two nights camping and utilities will be awarded for third place winners.

For more information on geocaching in Kansas state parks, go online to the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. From there, click Other Services/Outdoor Activities/Geocaching.