Geocaching in Harris County Precinct 4 Parks
The instructions and information contained herein prescribe guidelines and procedures for the management of "Geocaching" activities in Precinct 4 parks that ensures resource protection and visitor safety, while encouraging responsible recreational activity.
Geocaching, also known as GPS Stash Hunt or GeoStash, involves “hiding” items, usually containers holding various “treasures” and then providing specific Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates for each “cache” on a Web site. Visitors to these Web sites can choose which “cache” they would like to locate using their own personal GPS device. Cache searchers typically bring along their own “treasures” and make an exchange once the cache has been located. Virtual Caching involves locating not a cache, but a specific landmark, feature, park sign, etc.
Geocaching on Precinct 4 park lands may only be done during regular operational hours. Geocachers should only access Precinct 4 parks through typical public access points. Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Department accepts no responsibility for damage to or loss of any cache or its contents.
Removal of Caches
- If it is determined that a cache has been the cause of adverse resource damage, causes a public safety concern, or is unauthorized, the cache may be removed by the park superintendent or designee at any time.
Cache Containers and Contents
- Cache containers must be non-breakable, have some form of latch or other closing mechanism to prohibit content exposure to wildlife.
- Each cache container, excluding micro-caches and virtual caches, must have an identification label affixed to the outside identifying it as such.
- Caches may not contain inappropriate or dangerous items. Such items include, but are not limited to, hazardous materials, food, medications, alcoholic beverages, personal hygiene products, pornography, weapons or ammunition of any type, or fireworks.
- All caches are subject to random inspection by park superintendent or designee. Park staff has the authority to immediately remove any item held in a cache deemed unacceptable or that is in violation of this policy.
- The location of a cache should be pre-approved by a park staff member.
- Caches shall not be placed in a location that leads to the creation of spur trails or other resource impacts.
- Caches may not be buried, nor may living vegetation or any historic features be disturbed to place a cache.
- Caches may not be placed in dangerous, inappropriate or protected areas and habitats, on cliffs, underground, in wetlands or underwater.
- Caches shall not be placed in a location that is visible to the casual site visitor or that will degrade scenic views.
- Caches may be removed if a placement results in unacceptable resource impacts. Removal shall be at the discretion of the park superintendent.
- Metal detectors may not be used in cache searches.
- Failure to comply with this policy directive or the Rules and Regulations for County Parks in Harris County, Texas, will result in the removal of geocaches.
- If geocaching activities as a whole are found to have a negative impact on park resources or if safety becomes an issue in geocache searches, the park superintendent may ban geocaching from certain areas or from the entire park.