One of the fun things about geocaching are the Cache Events.
A cacher will host an event somewhere and any cachers from that area that want to attend come for a meet and greet.
Monday there was an event, Get Down and Dirty, held on Eglin that I knew we didn't want to miss.
One of our local cachers is a liaison between us and Eglin and we were invited to participate in a tree planting event as part of an erosion control project.
Eglin "borrows" clay from different places throughout the Reservation to use for roads - which leaves the borrow area exposed and of course erosion begins.
The exposed clay or sand begins running down into the many streams that flow through the Reservation which alters the bottom and affects the fish and critters that live there.
So they replant trees in an effort to rebuild the borrow area and minimize erosion.
Our goal was to plant 200 long leaf pines in a borrow area so we met at Jackson Guard in Niceville and then caravaned out to the project site.
There were about 18 cachers and a handful of cub scouts working on their Forestry patch, along with Pat, the woman in charge of Eglin's erosion control department.
She explained what we needed to do
And then it was time to go to work.
With that many hands it only took about 2 1/2 hours to plant 200 trees.
We planted on the ridges and inside of three berms but after climbing up and down for 2 hours we only took a picture of this particular area.
Attending a cache event counts as finding a cache and this was number 400 for us and my Dad.
After we finished we took a group photo and then hid a new cache for others to find.
We had so much fun!
Meeting other geocachers and swapping tales is always fun but I think the best part of this event was being able to give back to Eglin.
We are SO fortunate to have such an incredible area to hike, camp, fish, hunt and geoacache in, right here in our own backyards, and it really felt good being able to give something back in return for Eglin's generosity.
After the event we went on to find a few more caches and then called it a day.
We were tired and dirty and but it was a GREAT day!