“One of the things the city is most proud of is our community parks,” said Oakley Recreation Technician Cindy Coelho. “We have more than 30 parks, but a lot of people don’t know about all of them, so we designed the Passport to Parks program to encourage residents to go out and enjoy the different parks throughout the city.”
The Recreation Division developed a contest to help encourage residents to participate in the Passport to Parks event. The Passport can be found on page 11 of the Oakley Spring/Summer Recreation Guide, available at City Hall. As part of the contest, residents are asked to visit particular parks and answer questions about the park and its various amenities. For example, what is unique about the swing at Crockett Park, located on Richard Way?
Participants must earn at least 12 points (out of 19) to qualify for a prize. Prizes (limited to one per household) will be available at City Hall, 3231 Main St., beginning June 1. Photocopies of the Passport will not be accepted.
“We want this to be a family event,” Coelho said. “We want people to get out there and enjoy the parks in their neighborhood. This activity is designed to encourage families to get outside, and we’re hoping that after kids have visited a few parks, they’ll ask their parents to go to the park after school rather than come home and play video games all afternoon.”
For those who want to take the city scavenger hunt a step further, the Passports to Parks contest features a bonus activity called geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunt that requires the use of a GPS.
Hundreds of geocaches have been hidden throughout Oakley. To find one, you must log on to www.geocaching.com and search for Oakley, Calif. (as there are more than a million geocaches hidden throughout the world). Once the Oakley results appear, choose the geocach you’d like to find, and you’ll get coordinates to its location. With the aid of a GPS, you go out to find the item, which is customarily found in a box. Once the item is located, you sign your name on the box and put it back so that others may find it. Residents who located a geocach will earn two bonus points toward their prize.
“Geocaching is very popular,” Coelho said. “Even our mayor, Pat Anderson, is an avid geocacher. It’s like a treasure hunt. You follow the clues until you find the geocach, and you never know what you’ll find, so it’s really exciting. It helps you explore places you’ve never been to before. It’s fun and it’s free.”
To share your memories from Passport to Parks Month, upload your photos at www.flickr.com/groups/oakleyparks. For more information about the Passport to Parks program, call Coelho at 925-625-7044 or e-mail email@example.com.