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May 14, 2008 > Modern day treasure hunters

Modern day treasure hunters

Submitted By Deborah Osteen

GPS (Global Positioning System) Scavenger Hunts await families and groups looking to explore nature in local East Bay Regional Parks. Modern Day Treasure Hunters is a new business based in the East Bay that puts together scavenger hunts with a handheld GPS. Their mission is to inspire individuals of all ages to exercise and have fun while exploring the outdoors. This year, Modern Day Treasure Hunters is partnering with the East Bay Regional Park District to hold scavenger hunts in various East Bay Regional Parks including Sunol Regional Wilderness in Sunol and Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.

"These events give park users a new way to discover the natural features of the parks while learning a new skill," said Joe Stack, Recreation Supervisor of East Bay Regional Park District.

The events last three hours, starting at 9 a.m., and ending at noon. Groups check-in and go through personal instruction on how to use the GPS unit to navigate clues. Then the adventure begins. Groups can choose between multiple routes of varying lengths (less than half a mile up to 2.5 miles) and different themes. Themes are educationally based, designed to teach participants about our local flora and fauna. Groups can do one route or try them all.

Routes at Sunol Regional Wilderness take participants past creeks, through forests and meadows filled with wildflowers. Routes at Coyote Hills Regional Park lead adventurers through the marsh and up into the park's hills to enjoy spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding cities.

Groups could potentially walk between one and three miles if they choose to do all the available routes. And participants get more than exercise at these events. "It's a great activity for families to get outdoors and exercise together. In addition, groups need to work together when they use the GPS to navigate where to go, search for clues, and solve the puzzle; so they develop teamwork, problem-solving and technical skills," said Deborah Osteen, owner of Modern Day Treasure Hunters.

The "GPS Scavenger Hunts" are scheduled for Saturday, May 17, at Sunol Regional Wilderness and Saturday, June 21, at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. Individuals and families wishing to embark on one of these adventures should register at Cost is $12 per participant, or $10 per participant when a group of four or more registers. An adult must accompany children under 16 years of age. Children under age two are free. Use of GPS unit (one per group) is included in the participant cost.

Dates, locations and themes for upcoming GPS Scavenger Hunts are listed below. All events are from 9 a.m. - noon. For more information, please call the Modern Day Treasure Hunters at (925) 482-5705, or East Bay Regional Park District at (510) 530-8241.

Wild about Flowers and Rocks
Saturday, May 17
9 a.m. - noon
Sunol Regional Wilderness, Sunol

Birds and Butterflies
Saturday, June 21
Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont

Water! It's Everywhere!
Saturday, July 19
Lake Chabot Regional Park, Castro Valley

Wildlife in our Backyard
Saturday, August 16
Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

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