Johnson County has a rich history that offers surprising historical locations and cultural attractions that even some longtime residents don’t know about.
To help people discover some of those unique locations, a group of Leadership Johnson County participants are using the geocaching game to promote it.
GeoJohnson County is planning to hide small caches around prime tourist spots in Johnson County. Those locations will be loaded into an international geocaching database, so that anyone can look up the series and tour the county to find them.
“We want to inspire them to learn more about their county in an interactive and fun way to appeal to all ages,” said Sarah Taylor, a member of GeoJohnson County.
The project was inspired by a driving tour Leadership Johnson County students take at the beginning of the year’s session. They wanted something similar, with an added element of interaction that would get people out and discovering the county.
Geocaching is a game that asks participants to use GPS coordinates to find a hidden treasure trove.
“We’ll include an informational card inside the cache, something about the history of it, a picture of what it looked like in the 1800s, something that gives people some knowledge about the sites,” she said.
GeoJohnson County has compiled a list of about 30 locations that they want to focus on. The next step is meeting with organizations and town leaders to discuss partnerships. They also want to make sure they have permission to hide their caches.
The hope is to have all of the caches hidden and the information put together by late spring. A companion brochure, listing all of the coordinates of the caches, will be distributed to libraries, museums and schools in the county, Taylor said.