On Wed. evening Richfield resident and geocacher Brian Weis spoke before the park commission to explain how he is helping caching to catch on in village parks. The commission gave Weis the OK to begin placing caches on village property at the September meeting, and Weis has been busy.
The logo’s on the box if someone finds it and is concerned about what it is. Weis displayed boxes and containers stamped with the geocaching emblem.
Geocaching is like a scavenger hunt by satellite. Participants log on to the website, www.geocache. com, find coordinates of hidden containers, housing a list of people who have already found the cache, and then use GPS to find the location. Weis approached the commission in September to obtain permission to hide caches in Richfield’s parks. Geocaching rules dictates that people check with local governing boards before concealing anything on public land. Commission members allowed him to begin placing caches, but wanted to do so in containers that were clearly marked.
This isn’t a huge financial investment. New containers for new caches cost $177 and replacing containers for existing caches cost $47.
“If you allowed it in the parks but didn’t (want) to pick up the cost, I’d be honored to hide this in my backyard,” Weis said. The commission will decide if it will reimburse Weis in November. For now there are several new caches hidden in Heritage Park.
BMX insurance won’t cost village
Village Administrator Joshua Schoemann discussed adding a BMX bike track to village grounds at September’s Park Commission meeting. Members were interested but questioned what insurance for the track might cost the village.
"I put in two phone calls to our insurance company and haven’t heard back,” Schoemann said. He may not need to get an answer..
“Insurance-wise … American Bicycle Association does provide $5 million for the landowner,” said Richfield resident Jim Bucher, who brought up the proposal for the tracks. Bucher’s children participate in BMX racing.
The track would be a hilly course meant for bicycle racing, so there would be no loud engine noises to disturb the neighbors.
One question still remains, what building such a track would cost Richfield. “I think what we might want to do is get some more solid costs,” Schoemann said. Although he mentioned the possibility of a deal where the village fronts the money and is paid back over time, there would be an initial expenditure.
That might run about $12,000, Bucher said, which does not include labor. “It’s not a big financial deal,” he said. “It’s more labor than anything else.” The track is easy and inexpensive to maintain and would be maintained by Bucher.. Practices would be held one night a week and races would be held one day on the weekend.
“It’s not an all-day event; it’s just a family-friendly thing for people to do,” Bucher said. “The most noise is from the moms yelling at their kids to pedal faster.”
Commission members were intrigued but requested that the village alert neighbors near the proposed location to seek their input. “It’s an up-and-coming sport, so that’s a definite positive,” said Chairman Tom Wolff.