Monday, September 24, 2007

Urbandale geocaching

I have accepted an offer to teach geocaching to a Clover Kids group. Having a nice teaching kit from Azrag should help immensely (thank you many times over, Azrag), as these kids are ages 8 and under. Visual aids are good. I also have a couple slide shows to project on the wall -- one from the Iowa Geocachers Organization (probably too technical for this age group), and one that I created for a group of students at United Community School.

In seeking permission to place temporary caches, the local Parks and Rec director and I had the following (shortened for space on this blog, blue text for Parks and Rec, red text for me) exchange of messages:
Parks and Rec: We are actually working on a trails project (putting in 911 signs) along trails in Urbandale, that require GPS locations.

Is this something that you or some of the kids you work with may have interest in assisting with?
juliecache: My kids and I would be interested in finding landmarks/coordinates for the city. As for the others, there would have to be family support and families with gps units, unless the city has some they could use. If there are no loaners or "standards," I guess that would mean that your dept. would need to be OK with my gps unit as well.
Parks and Rec: There is no specific deadline for this project.

The Cities of WDSM and Des Moines are installing some markers/posts along a few of their trails, as a trial for this project.

I thought the trail along Douglas, past WJ Park and maybe into Colby Woods would be a good place to start.

These posts would be at locations perhaps every 1/4 mile, and put at spots would make the most sense (around corners, curves in the path, etc.)
Then we would need to get the coordinates, in order to put the correct markings on the posts. (The posts will have six digit coordinates, that can be used for a person who may be injured or need emergency assistance when using a trail.) THese will be given to WestCom and Emergency services, to put in their system. We are using the US Miliary grid" system.

I can find out of our engineering dept. regarding GPS units.

THanks for your interest. I hope this works out!

I have since asked the director about putting the word out to the geocaching community, as it is always scoping out places for new hides. If you have an interest in working on this project, please leave a comment or send me a private message. I will be more aggressive in recruiting help with this project via IGO should the city desire.

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