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TFGT: Fertilizer and Flight

A cache by Manatee_County_NRD Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 7/27/2012
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:




This cache is ONLY available during operating hours. Please plan accordingly! Monday through Thursday from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Anyone can claim this cache, but to be eligible for the Taking Flight Tracking Tag, you’ll have to go no farther than the lobby. But you’ll definitely need to think pink. Take a photo of yourself with the cache container at ground zero to include in your find log and draw a picture of the cache in your Passport.

We strongly recommend you collect this cache last!





This cache’s location is 25 feet north east of the listed coordinates and is very close to the passport validation site, and available during the same hours. We recommend this cache as the last stop on your migration along the Taking Flight GeoTour. This cache is available during the work week (Monday through Thursday) from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Folks from Florida know that the rules for yard work are a little different here, especially during our very hot and often rainy summer season. While we’d all like to have green grass, it’s important to remember that over fertilizing it can really hurt more than it can help. When the rain comes, any extra fertilizer washes away, leaving your lawn and going straight into our waterways. Manatee County, along with many other counties in the state of Florida, have adopted a Fertilizer Ordinance in order to reduce the potential for runoff of nutrient-laden fertilizer into our environment. The extra nitrogen and phosphorous in the water feeds algal blooms, creates fish kills, turns the water a milky green color, and contributes to poor water quality in our lakes, streams, rivers and bay. By establishing rules for homeowners, lawn services, and business that sell fertilizer, Manatee County hopes to better control these problems. More information about Manatee County’s Ordinance can be found here.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program has created a program called “Be Floridian” that is committed to “Protecting the Fun” and helping to support practices that are “Florida friendly.” You may have seen their flock of plastic flamingos at local area events which help remind people to think pink and use less fertilizer during the summer.

The "Be Floridian" campaign chose the pink flamingo as its mascot because it is an iconic Florida bird. But the locals will tell you that there are no flamingos in Florida. How did the bird become one of the state’s symbols? Mysterious postcards seem to suggest otherwise:

This postcard is from Hialeah, Florida, near Miami. These flamingos have created their characteristic volcano-like nests in the lake at the Hialeah racetrack. Today, visitors can still see the famous flamingos at the site, and the hatchlings from the nests they build have been used to help spread flamingos to zoos across the nation. This colony was introduced to Hialeah Park in 1933, but only a hundred years before settlers reported large numbers of flamingos in south Florida.



A modern-day flock at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Photo by Dotty Motta
These days, the great flocks of pink birds that pioneers once marveled at have vanished and the introduced Hialeah flock is the only one considered to be an officially established breeding colony in the state. Even still, every once in a while a lucky resident or visitor will catch a glimpse of a great pink bird that is definitely not a roseate spoonbill. Most scientists do not believe that the flamingos breed in the wild in Florida anymore. It was not known if the earlier sightings of colonies in now ghost towns like Snake Bight and, of course, Flamingo, were birds that truly lived in Florida or were instead flocks that migrated from the Bahamas in order to find food. Scientists also disagree on the type of bird – some say these were American or Caribbean Flamingos while others argue that they were Greater Flamingos. One thing is for sure, however, that the presence of these birds was once a unique aspect of life in Florida and they’re still remembered as icons of the sunshine state.


Twirly twins. Photo by Dotty Motta

Anyone can claim this cache, but to be eligible for the Taking Flight Tracking Tag, you’ll have to go no farther than the lobby. But you’ll definitely need to think pink. Take a photo of yourself with the cache container at ground zero to include in your find log and draw a picture of the cache in your Passport.



Visit the sites along the Taking Flight GeoTour (TFGT) and learn about Manatee County’s wild spaces and the amazing feathered friends that live in them. Along the way, you will be challenged to become a citizen scientist, a preserve ranger, a detective, a historian, and of course an excellent geocacher in order to find all of the caches in the trail. Caches are located in birding “hot spots” throughout Manatee County’s publicly accessible conservation preserves. Each one highlights a specific bird species or aspect of bird life providing you with opportunities to learn more about these creatures and what we can do to help them survive. Caches also focus on protecting the region's waterways, bays, and natural watersheds, and habitat areas for many of our area’s feathered fliers.

The Taking Flight GeoTour includes 15 caches within Manatee County. A custom Taking Flight Geo Tour trackable geo tag will be awarded to the first 300 geocachers, while supplies last, for locating at least 12 TFGT caches. To be eligible for the tag, geocachers must download a passport from the TFGT Website or pick one up at the Manatee County Natural Parks & Natural Resources Department office at GT Bray Park 5502 33 rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton, FL., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Geocachers must log at least 12 finds, answer the question from each cache on their passport, and complete any additional requirements for specific caches (such as posting photos for earth caches). After finding a minimum of 12 caches, participants can have their passports validated in person or via mail at the Manatee County Natural Parks & Natural Resources Department office at GT Bray Park 5502 33 rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton, FL 34209, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. News and updates on tag availability and validation hours can be found online at the Parks & Natural Resources Department's website.
Thank you for assisting with the Taking Flight GeoTour:


Additional Hints (Decrypt)

guvax cvax!

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



 

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