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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Launches its First Adventure Lab

SPECIAL TO DEVILS LAKE  JOURNAL

Arvilla– Most people use a mobile phone to stay connected to friends, family, and co-workers. But now, individuals can also use their phones to connect to a more fun, engaging learning experience while visiting a North Dakota state park. In partnership with members of the North Dakota Geocaching Association, the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department has launched its first digital geocaching experience at Turtle River State Park, 20 miles west of Grand Forks, N.D. 

Visitors who have been to Turtle River State Park are likely familiar with the iconic stone and wooden structures on the property. They may have even read a short statement on a plaque about how these buildings came to be, thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). But, with the new Geocaching Adventure Lab, a virtual, self-guided scavenger hunt, state park users can now utilize the free mobile app for a more engaging experience. Visitors of all ages can learn the intriguing stories behind these historical CCC structures as the free Geocaching Adventure Lab app guides users through the process of finding clues, solving puzzles and completing Adventures one location in the park at a time.  

“We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with the North Dakota Geocaching Association and bring this new experience to our park users,” stated Andrea Travnicek, NDPRD Director. “While it’s still important for us to provide visitors a place to unplug, we’re also being strategic in embracing new technologies that enhance the visitor experience. The Adventure Lab app allows visitors to learn the history of unique park features they may have otherwise passed by. Plus, they can explore at their own pace any time of day.” 

What’s the difference between Adventures and traditional Geocaching? Unlike traditional geocaching, Adventures do not require a physical container and can be located indoors. Geocaching Adventure Lab expands the boundaries of traditional geocaching into new spaces and experiences while introducing innovative and fresh ideas that make geocaching even more fun!  

“The Adventure Lab at Turtle River State Park also includes a bonus physical cache, which can only be obtained by completing the Adventure,” shared Erika Kolbow, Park Interpreter. “And for those already a Geocaching member, these caches count towards their total geocaching statistics and total finds.” 

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department encourages visitors to download the free Adventure Lab app on their next visit to Turtle River State Park to give it a try for themselves! 

The park charges a $7 vehicle entrance fee unless a state park annual permit is displayed. The Department would like to remind visitors to follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing and personal hygiene while visiting the park.   

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources.   

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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