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NY-NJ Harbor Earthcache Discovery Estuary Trails

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Published on Oct 5, 2011

Going Coastal takes one of the most popular emergent outdoor activities of our day - geocaching and develops an exciting educational activity about the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. It is a high tech treasure hunt revealing the estuary's immense resources as it demonstrates how it was shaped, how we manage the resources and how it directly affects our quality of life.

GPS units can be a fun way to explore the harbor estuary. The project uses technology to encourage and foster a personal connection with the Harbor Estuary, an appreciation of nature, and to promote good stewardship through a family-friendly activity appropriate and fun for all ages! The discovery is the natural wonders of the park when you visit.

The New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary EarthCache Discovery Trail is a set of earthcaches that highlight the amazing geology and ecology of Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ and Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan. The self-guided pace and educational component allows visitors to discover and appreciate the beauty and natural history of the Harbor Estuary while exploring the resources of two of the Estuary's most beautiful parklands!

These EarthCaches take you behind the scenes to investigate why the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary is so spectacular, and how it came to be.

What is Earthcaching?
EarthCaching is a "virtual" geocache that has no physical hidden container. EarthCaching is a hunt for natural and geological "treasures." All EarthCaches have an educational component that involves reading a description of the location or feature, locating the feature using a GPS device and completing a logging task or solving question. Instead of leaving or removing anything, EarthCachers report their observations or answers in a Field Guide and on the Geocaching website and via an email to the cache manager at estuarycache@gmail.com.

For School Field Trips:
These activities are offered the schools and organized groups through the Inwood Hill Nature Center Urban Park Rangers and the Liberty State Park Interpretive Center to support research and education efforts. Contact the park to schedule your discovery. Everything you need to enjoy the day will be provided -- easy to use Geomate Jr. GPS devices, Field Guides, Earthcache pencils, and Certificate of Completion.

Educator Resources: Printable .pdf versions of each trail Field Guide is available below along with the training video at the top of this page. For a more advanced interaction with the trail, follow the Explore on Your Own directions.

Liberty State Park Nature Interpretive Center
200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Phone: (201) 915-3440 or 915-3409
libertystatepark.org
Liberty State Park Field Guide.pdf (8.5 x 14")

Inwood Hill Park Nature Center
W 218 Street & Seaman Avenue Manhattan
Phone: (212) 304-2365
nycgovparks.org
Inwood Hill Park Field Guide.pdf (8.5 x 14")

Certificate of Completion: Each student will receive a Certificate of Completion upon solving the logging tasks, print one here Certificate.pdf.

EXPLORE ON YOUR OWN!

What you will need to participate:
• A GPS device. You can also visit the trail using your iPhone or Smart Phone.
• You will need to create a FREE membership account online at
geocaching.com
•A printouto of the earthcache desciptions (see below)
•A pen or pencil
•Enthusiasm to explore the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary!
How the program works:
1.Set up a free membership at earthcache.org.
2.Search the local earthcaches opportunities by the GC code.
3.Log in and print the text and GPS coordinates for each EarthCache.
4.Once in the park, use your GPS device to locate the cache and answer the questions. Each cache is a separate cache so you can choose to complete one or complete the entire trail.
5.Return to the earthcache.org website to log in your find and upload a photo, complete the logging tasks and give a short statement about your experience.
6. Any questions, email us at estuarycache@gmail.com.

Begin exploring via GPS device or smart phone by visiting our Estuary Earthcaches online at earthcache.org

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary EarthCache Discovery Trails in Inwood Hill Park and Liberty State Park are developed by Going Coastal, Inc. as a special project in affiliation with Groundspeak and support from the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program and the New England Interstate Water
Pollution Control Commission. Thanks to our contributors who helped research and develop the waypoint descriptions, including Gabriel Rand, Elizabeth Sibley, Dayyan Armstrong, Inessa
theothersideofthetracks.com/

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