Kitchener-Waterloo

Geocachers mixing work and play with Cache In, Trash Out event

A group of geocachers will be descending on Bannister Lake Conservation Area, east of Ayr, on Sunday, but their primary goal won't be seeking out hidden prizes.

Plan to clean up Bannister and Wrigley lakes while geocaching in the area

This year's Cache In, Trash Out event is happening at Bannister Lake Conservation Area, near Ayr. (Kevin Sharpen)

A group of geocachers will be descending on Bannister Lake Conservation Area, east of Ayr, on Sunday, but their primary goal won't be seeking out hidden prizes.

The group is participating in a Cache In, Trash Out event, where every geocacher brings along a garbage bag, along with their cell phone or GPS tracking device.

"We've found old lanterns, we've found tires - tons of different things," said Kevin Sharpen, who has organized the event for the past four years.
Kevin Sharpen, who organizes the event, says he's always surprised by how much trash they collect. (Kevin Sharpen)

He says the number of people who come out for the day varies, but it's not about numbers. 

"It's just about getting the area cleaned up. So I was super surprised on how much we got pulled out of the park."

For the first three years, the event was held down the road, at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area.

But Sharpen said the geocachers have been so successful at cleaning, that staff there suggested they hold this year's event at Bannister Lake.
While the goal is to clean the park, the volunteers have fun finding geocaches, hidden in and around the park. (Kevin Sharpen)

Those who come out will be picking up trash on the trails and heading out on the water to take litter off the park lakes. 

And, of course, they'll be geocaching along the way. 

"There's quite a few cachers who have set up geocaches all around that area, so likely there will be a few new ones out there and they'll do them at the same time, as they're going by," Sharpen said.

The Cache In, Trash Out event at Bannister Lake Conservation Area starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m.