In early 2010, Calgary Area Cachers (a loose affiliation of geocachers living in and around Calgary) teamed up with the City of Calgary Parks Department to place 100 new geocaches in city parks. Each month, from May through August, twenty-five caches were published on geocaching.com. To make geocaching accessible to families that didn’t own a GPSr, the parks department stocked each branch of the Calgary Public Library with at least one GPS receiver, which library card holders could borrow for a week at a time.
GeoKs placed three caches as part of this program. One was muggled within a few weeks of placement, but the other two have been doing pretty well. Early last fall, we had to disable one of our two remaining “Calgary Parks 100” geocaches after a string of DNFs. Between moving, unpacking and Christmas, Mrs. GeoK didn’t get around to checking on the hiding spot until a note from our local cache reviewer prodded us into action (a little embarrassing, to say the least).
Our first check on the cache site in the early part of January led us to conclude the cache is probably gone, although it’s hard to be certain with the solidly frozen snow cover. This cache isn’t one of our most inspired hides (lock and lock in a juniper bush – definitely not up to our usual standard), so our first thought was to simply archive the cache. But the park it’s placed in is historically significant to Calgary, and we were happy to sponsor GC2ANZ6 Battalion Park – Calgary Parks 100 when the opportunity first came up, so Mrs. GeoK decided to do a little investigation before we made a final decision.
Of the (not quite) 100 geocaches originally placed, about 65 are still active listings, although 5 or 6 of them are currently disabled. For a group of urban caches to have a 60 percent (plus) survival rate after almost 2 years is pretty good! And since we had a spare Calgary Parks 100 container, complete with Calgary Parks themed swag and an activated Calgary Parks 100 geocoin, we decided to replace the container. It’s still not an inspired hide, but it helps keep the celebration going.
By the way, we checked with the library today. The GPS units are still showing up in their system and they all show as being checked out. So just maybe the Calgary Parks 100 celebration resulted in a bunch of new geocachers in the Calgary area, exactly what Calgary Parks officials hoped would happen.