Geocaching, letterboxing, and other similar activities are allowed in many Park Authority parks. Guidelines have been established to assure good stewardship of the natural and cultural resources in the parks.
Download the approved list of parks where geocaching, letterboxing, and other similar activities are allowed. If a park is not on this list, geocaching is not allowed unless written permission from the Park Authority has been given. The typical reasons for not allowing a cache are safety or good stewardship – lack of trails or parking, sensitive natural or cultural resources, nearby schools, size of the park or the park’s topography.
Geocaches may be placed in one of the approved parks as long as they adhere to the guidelines below.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which participants (called "geocachers") use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache (pronounced /kæ?/ like the English word cash) is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure" (usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value). Variations of geocaching are Earthcaching, Cache-In Trash Out, Event Caching, and others.
Another activity that is similar to geocaching is letterboxing.
Letterboxing is an outdoor hobby that combines elements of orienteering, art and puzzle solving. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth. Individual letterboxes usually contain a logbook and a rubber stamp. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp on their personal logbook, and leave an impression of their personal stamp on the letterbox’s logbook – as proof of having found the box. Many letterboxers keep careful track of their “find count”.
-from Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia
As with any activity on parkland, the Park Authority reserves the right to place reasonable restrictions on the time, manner or place in which an activity is conducted. Although most park visitors value parkland and resources, there have been many instances where individuals left private property on parkland as part of illicit activities and there are frequently unauthorized uses on parkland that could pose a threat to public safety, or damage property and/or cultural or natural resources. For these reasons, the Park Authority needs to regulate all activities on parkland.
The Park Authority grants blanket permission for the placement of geocaches within the Fairfax County Parks specifically named in the approved list of parks. Even though blanket permission is being granted, all geocaches must be placed in accordance with Park Authority guidelines (see above). The placement of geocaches that are not in compliance with Park Authority guidelines are prohibited.
If a specific park is not listed on the approved list of parks, geocache placement is prohibited in that park unless written permission has been given. One or more of the following reasons are why a park may not be listed as an approved site:
Geocache placement needs at parks that are not contained in the approved list of parks must be individually approved by the Park Authority. The Park Authority will attempt to respond to requests for exceptions within 30 days. The special approval process is as follows:
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