Thursday, August 02, 2007

Geocaching Travel Bugs

Four geocaching travel bugs were activated at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. A variety of educational activities will be designed around the travels of the Audubon Food Chain.

Geocaching is an outdoor adventure activity for Global Positioning System (GPS) users. Individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and post the cache locations on the Internet. Geocachers use the latitude/longitude coordinates that are provided to find the caches. Discovering a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards from small trinkets to spectacular views off the path beaten by tourists.

The travel bugs will each follow their own randomly selected path as determined by the geocachers that move the bug from one cache to another. As a group, the travel bugs form a simple food chain (Butterfly => Frog => Snake => Hawk) with the arrows showing the direction the energy flows as one organism is eaten by another. The travel bugs will be released some distance apart to allow the prey an opportunity to avoid the predators. As they travel, hopefully, the bugs will highlight the need to protect habitat so that food chains and the more complex food webs are not distrupted with the loss of member species.

The closest cache to the Francis Beidler Forest is For the Birds near the main gate. Do you know where the best playground is in Summerville? Hint: It's near the Plantation Cache and you would never accidentally drive by it. How well did you pay attention in Language Arts? Test yourself with Southern Lit Primer! Did you know this path existed? Hidden Charleston: Gateway Walk. How about a game of battleship in Charleston Under Seige!?

Who ever said that exercise and education couldn't be fun?

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