Posted By: Lackey Nate the Great
Groundspeak’s Lost and Found tour is in full swing, with Groundspeak Lackeys attending geocaching events spread throughout the world. Earlier this month Lackey Powpea and I had the opportunity to visit the Second City for the first annual Chicagoland Cache-apalooza. The local geocaching organization, GONIL, hosted a fantastic event including 74 new geocaches placed and published over the weekend.
Before the festivities began, however, we attended a CITO event at the Lucas Berg Nature Preserve in Worth, IL. Here is a little speck of green space in the heart of a metro area whose stated purpose is as a repository for toxic soil dredged from a nearby canal. In short: it’s a dump.
Rather, it was a dump, until some geocachers caught wind of it. Thirty years of indifference and careless wind surfboard disposal (yes, really) provided geocachers the opportunity to put some of their hard-won bush-beating skills to good use. What it lacks in geocaches, it more than makes up for in potential.
No discarded BMX tire or mangled can of Fanta dared escape the eagle-eyed crew. I know at least one local resident would agree the place is much more inviting as a result.
However, it’s easy to see that altruism of the sort witnessed by this Lackey is not wholly selfless. Sure, getting filthy and comparing sticker-bush abrasions are their own rewards, but by demonstrating responsible stewardship of the land essential to our pastime we act as emissaries for the game. Geocachers sent a clear message to the land manager and community that geocaching is something to be welcomed and encouraged.
What can you do in your community to spread this message?
The future of Lucas Berg Nature Preserve is still uncertain, but geocachers in the Chicago area are making an investment they hope will pay dividends down the road. At the very least, it’s a labor of love not lost on the critters in the little marshy plot of land just off SW HWY 7 and W 111th in Worth, IL.
Lackey Nate the Great
In: New life to a neglected park and potential geocaching playground
Out: Tires, busted glass, soda cans, 3/4 of a wind surfboard (no sign of the surfer!)