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Contact: Program Information: Larry Perez, Science Communication Liaison, 305-224-4263
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contacts: Mary Plumb, Public Affairs Officer (Acting), 305-242-7714
HOMESTEAD, Florida: Everglades National Park recently unveiled the new "Park Employee for a Day" geocache trail. Often billed as a "high-tech scavenger hunt," geocaching is a location-based experience that challenges visitors with a Global Positioning System (GPS) or mobile device to discover hidden treasures. The activity has gained popularity over the years commensurate with the increasing availability of GPS-enabled devices.
Though Everglades National Park has previously used geocaches to highlight key restoration projects along its periphery, the "Park Employee for a Day" series represents the first such experience to be offered within park boundaries. Located primarily at stops along the Main Park Road, each geocache challenges visitors to assume the role of park personnel to consider-and comment on-how they might resolve current issues of importance to park management. During the course of the experience, visitors step into the shoes of rangers, botanists, and fire control managers to consider how best to maintain visitor safety in areas of abundant wildlife, manage the troublesome invasion of Brazilian pepper, weigh options when fire threatens the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, or rebuild lodging in Flamingo in light of rising seas.
Though the popularity of geocaching has grown wildly in recent years, opportunities to try this hobby are largely absent from most national parks. Everglades has placed the Park Employee for a Day Geocache Trail as a pilot project, and will monitor activity over the next year to gauge the compatibility of this activity with the park's purpose. The placement of additional, non- authorized caches in Everglades National Park remains strictly prohibited.
For more information on geocaching in and around Everglades National Park, visit our website at: http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/geocaching.htm
More information on Everglades National Park can be found on the park website athttp://www.nps.gov/ever
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more atwww.nps.gov.