CTR - Harvest the Heavens
Preventing Stormwater is in Your Hands!
Discover the Caching the Rain Geotrail to learn how you can help clean our waterways, and be part of the solution in Montgomery County! Stormwater pollution is the only source of pollution increasing in the Chesapeake Bay. Reduce runoff: Slow it down, spread it out, soak it in!
The Caching the Rain Geotrail launched June 28, 2014 with 6 caches within Montgomery County. A trackable geocoin will be awarded, while supplies last, for locating all 6 caches and completing the passport. To be eligible for the geocoin, geocachers must first download a passport from either the Caching the Rain Geotrail or Maryland Geocaching Society website. Geocachers must find all 6 geocaches, read and follow each geocache’s instructions and correctly answer the question inside each cache and record your answer in your passport. Questions can be easily answered by using surrounding resources nearby the geocache. After discovering all 6 geocaches and recording the correct answer in the passport, geocachers must enter their answers directly online. Click Here to enter your answers!
Stormwater pollution or runoff is the excess water that is not absorbed in the ground during a precipitation event. When it rains, trash, debris, sediment, chemicals and pollutants are carried from roads, parking lots, and rooftops into the nearest storm-drain. Where do you think this runoff goes? Many people believe stormwater is treated after entering our storm-drains. This is not the case! Stormwater typically flows untreated into streams, rivers, lakes and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
The Caching the Rain Geotrail takes you on a tour of some of the County’s stormwater improvement projects. The geocaches are placed nearby various practices that help improve water quality in our local streams. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection has installed over 7,000 stormwater management practices to help solve pollution impacts and more are being installed every day. These practices help absorb or slow runoff from impervious surfaces (surfaces in which water cannot penetrate), such as roads, parking lots and rooftops, and help remove contaminants from the runoff.
You can install these practices on your property too and encourage others to do the same! From replacing your driveway with green alternatives, to planting native plants to installing a rain barrel and rain garden or helping your Homeowners Association or community to install a cistern - YOU can help clean our waterways and the Bay! Certain practices are even eligible for a rebate through our RainScapes program or a credit through the water quality protection charge credit program!
>Don’t own property? You can still help! Simple changes in your everyday life can help improve water quality in Montgomery County streams and within the Chesapeake Bay. Remember to:
- Pickup pet waste
- Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides
- Encourage green streets in your neighborhood
- Plant trees
- Create eco-friendly yards through RainScapes
- Volunteer through Stream Stewards
- Never litter and properly dispose of trash and recyclables
- Install or replace impervious driveways and parking lots with green alternatives
Participating in the Caching the Rain geotrail is fun and we hope that many people join in. However, it is not a requirement for logging your find on this cache once you find the container. Become more aware of stormwater pollution and how your everyday activities affect our local waterways. We encourage everyone to take the Caching the Rain challenge and join the movement to reduce stormwater pollution in Montgomery County.
The cache is only available during daylight hours. Please no night caching! Geocaches will be found nearby stormwater facilities, not within the facilities. DO NOT ENTER ANY STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITIES.
Park in the parking spots at the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center or along the entrance road if parking lot is full. Please be mindful of and respectful to children and any educational activities that may be occurring.
This cache is a multi-cache with two stages. The posted coordinates will take you to the first stage, which is a sign about rain barrels near the entrance to the building. Read the short informative sign to find the coordinates to the next location. The second stage and final stage is a physical cache and is a lock n' lock container (similar to a small Tupperware container). Use the clues from the Rain Barrels sign to find the final stage = N 39° 06.A13’, W 77° 06.B46’
A = the number of times you see "rain" in this sign multiplied by 3.
B = the number of i's in the first sentence plus 1.
Please watch your step when searching for the final stage cache.
Passport Question: How many gallons of stormwater can a 1000 square foot conventional roof shed when there is one inch of rain?
Hint: Read about green roofs on the RainScapes sign.
Please don't forget to post your pictures from along the Caching The Rain Geotrail!
We encourage photos of you and your family being green or helping to improve our water quality.
"Simple changes can make a big difference!”
We love to read your logs and see pictures of geocachers in action.
Placed with permission from the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center.
Special thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Trust for funding support with this project and to the Maryland Geocaching Society for assisting with this project!
Please visit the project website for complete geotrail details: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/geocache