UPDATE: We are sorry that we won't be able to release the badge-based alternative this summer, but players without a GPS should still feel free to search for our geocache by plugging the coordinates into Google Maps or a similar website.
N 42°16.714’ / W 083°44.733'
You may not know it, but this library location has something from 200 million years ago. The gingko tree has remained almost completely unchanged since the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. In fact, if you look at fossils, you can easily recognize the fan-shaped leaves of the gingko. The tree is unique for another reason. It has separate trees for male and female. The female trees produce a smelly fruit that was believed to attract dinosaurs and other extinct mammals to help spread its seeds. While we may not find it the most pleasant smell, we can’t help but thank those animals of the past for helping keep the gingko tree alive and fruitful. Luckily for our noses, the library planted only male trees!
N 42°18.463' / W 083°42.874'
While the landscape may look unkempt, this location is covered in some rich resources. Native Americans of southeastern Michigan relied on native grasses and wildflowers to provide food, shelter, clothes, and even medicine! So while the landscaping may look a bit rough and tough, just imagine the treasures it provides for sustaining life.
N 42°16.726’ / W 083°46.967’
A long time ago, approximately 15,000 years, this library location looked very different than it is does today. Mastodons roamed the area, along with other Ice Age creatures that came for the salt springs and natural salt licks that existed in the region. Now southern Michigan is known for the large number of mastodon fossils that have been found here. Michigan’s state fossil, one of the most complete mastodon skeletons ever unearthed, is even housed here in Ann Arbor. Look for it at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
N 42°15.163’/W 083°46.656’
This library location is teeming with wildlife. You may spot ducks taking a dip, spiders building their webs, and even turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. If you’re lucky enough to spot a turtle while you’re here, then you’ll be seeing a piece of living history. Turtles have been around for approximately 220 millions years, and even a single turtle may live to be over 100 years old! One thing that helps turtles live so long is their hard shell, into which the turtle can pull its head and limbs if it spots a predator. Another thing that helps is going into hibernation when the weather gets too cold for these cold-blooded creatures. And speaking of temperature, did you know that the temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the turtle’s gender? A cooler incubation temperature produces a male, while a warmer incubation temperature produces a female.
N 42°14.627’ / W 083°43.014’
Did you know our branches have visits from a variety of critters? One of them happens to be the red fox! Foxes live in a variety of environments around the globe due to their innate resourcefulness, including right here in Ann Arbor. You might be able to catch a glimpse of a red bushy tail with a white tip, but beware, the red fox is known to be sly and clever for a reason. They are small and fast, so if you’re able to catch a glimpse you must be just as cunning! Foxes live in dens made out of extensive underground tunnels, usually excavating vacant holes from groundhogs. And speaking of hidden treasures, this is the location where our geocache is hidden so keep a look out while you’re here.