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Unlock the Secrets of the Great Swamp

The Great Swamp Watershed Association pulls back the curtain on May 10 at the third annual Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt.

Despite some occasionally stormy conditions, the 2013 Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt drew more than 150 people to Loantaka Brook Reservation and all of the 18 other stops on the game itinerary. (Photo courtesy of GSWA.)
Despite some occasionally stormy conditions, the 2013 Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt drew more than 150 people to Loantaka Brook Reservation and all of the 18 other stops on the game itinerary. (Photo courtesy of GSWA.)
The Great Swamp Watershed Association’s (GSWA) Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt is back for another fun-filled day of outdoor exploration and discovery in and around one of New Jersey’s most important natural areas.

The third-annual Scavenger Hunt will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10. Participants may pick up a special pirate-themed clue kit—complete with GPS coordinates for geocaching enthusiasts—at the pavilion located outside the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  The Visitor Center is located at 32 Pleasant Plains Road in Harding Township, NJ.

The clue kit will serve as a guide for exploring several nearby points of interest.  Players will search each of the game’s ports of call for special treasure tokens that can only be earned by answering a short series of questions about the region’s natural or cultural history.  The entire journey will include stops inside the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, stops at the nearby Jockey Hollow Unit of Morristown National Historical Park, stops at GSWA’s own 53-acre Conservation Management Area, and a few other locations.

"There's so much to do and so much to see here in our communities, and we wanted more people to know about them," said GSWA Executive Director Sally Rubin.  "That's why we came up the Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt. It's just a really fun way for anyone to get outside and experience all the great things that this region has to offer."

Players may spend as little or as much time on the game as they like, but all are asked to return to the pavilion outside the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center by 3:00 p.m. for a free potluck barbecue and grand finale celebration.  During the finale, tokens collected during game play may be traded in for chances to win several special prizes donated by local businesses and organizations.  GSWA will supply free soft drinks, hamburgers, and hot dogs for the picnic.  Participants are encouraged to bring along a covered side dish to eat themselves or share with everyone else.  (Lawn chairs, blankets, or other alfresco dining supplies are welcome as well.)  The festivities will conclude promptly at 5:00 p.m.

Participation is free, but donations made to GSWA in support of the Scavenger Hunt are sincerely appreciated.  Please consider making a donation of $10/adult or $5/child (six to 17 years old) when you register.  There is no suggested donation for children five and under.

Advanced registration is strongly recommended.  Register by visiting GSWA online at GreatSwamp.org or by calling (973) 538-3500 x22.  This is a rain or shine event.

The Great Swamp Scavenger Hunt is produced in partnership with Northern New Jersey Cachers (NNJC)—New Jersey’s premier non-profit geocaching organization.  Since 2005, NNJC has worked throughout the tri-state area to provide resources and build community support for the growing sport of geocaching.

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