Martinsville museum using geocaching to celebrate National Park Service’s 100th birthday

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) – The Virginia Museum of Natural History is combining a celebration of history with a treasure hunt.

The museum has created a geocache opportunity in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.

Anyone can stop by the museum to pick up the miniature model of the museum’s giant sloth.

Whoever picks it up will be asked to take the figurine to a national park, hide it somewhere near, but outside of the park, and then upload the coordinates to the geocache website for someone else to find.

“They see the coordinates on the page and then they use their GPS unit and they will get as close as they possibly can to this coordinate and then they use the hints and clues that are on the page,” explained Katie Hastings, an educator at the museum and the program’s coordinator.

The sloth has to be placed outside of the park because the rules of geocahing state that any item has to be hidden somewhere public and that is free to access.

Currently, the museum only has one miniature sloth that can be used for the game but if there is enough demand Hastings said the museum will consider creating more.

The goal is to get the sloth to as many national parks as possible by August 25, 2017, which is the National Park Service’s 101st birthday.

Hastings explained that the sloth has a GPS tracker built in so that the museum can track which national parks it has been to.

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