Tama-Toledo Community Visioning continues work with family event

Community members Jeff Shaw, Shelly RIley, and Denise Fletcher look to identify a tree with Nick McGrath from Trees Forever during the Tama-Toledo Community Visioning event Sunday. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MEYER

Created at the end of 2020 as a part of Iowa Living Roadways Community Visioning program, Tama-Toledo Community Visioning has been going strong ever since.

On a breezy Sunday afternoon, volunteers from the group gathered to put on an event open to everyone. Beginning at 1, flags were placed along the rec trail and a scavenger hunt was afoot. Supported by 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count, a grant secured by the group, prize bags with t-shirts were given out to children who found and successfully returned flags.

The scavenger hunt was far from the only activity offered. Mark McFate along with several other experienced Geocashers gave a crash course to attendees about the activity.

Explained on the official Geocaching website the activity is described as follows.

“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor adventure that is happening all the time, all around the world. To play, participants use the Geocaching app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered–there are probably even some near you right now.”

Gathered in the shade Mark McFate programs a GPS before the group goes out Geocaching. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MEYER

After handing out GPS devices, preloaded with a location of a cache the group set out walking on the elementary campus to discover what was hidden around them. Several youth members in attendance gleamed with excitement as their GPS guided them through the grass and towards their eventual treasure.

With a group geocaching some returned back to participate in a tree identification workshop with Nick McGrath from Trees Forever in Cedar Rapids. McGrath helped identify trees planted within the South Tama Prairie located on the south lawn of the elementary school. Members of the public are open and encouraged to come check out the maintained prairie area.

Tama-Toledo Community Visioning recently wrapped up an event called Get You Move On In May. In partnership with Tama County Public Health & Home Care & Tama County SKIP, the premise of the event was to record your exercise and fee how far the community could collectively travel around the globe. One minute of exercise was equal to one mile traveled.

In their first year attempting an event like this the turnout was high with 225 total responses to increase the collective goal. 19,140 minutes of activity was recorded by community members and the trip around the globe was really close to the ultimate goal. Leaving Iowa and heading East through some major cities the 19,140 minutes translated into miles took the group all the way back around the Earth and ended somewhere in between Denver and Des Moines.

“The goal was to find a way to encourage people to get outdoors and/or moving. We also wanted people to see that moving includes every day activities which we called functional activities. It doesn’t have to be a fitness class or a mile walk,’ the group said of the event.

Attendees of all ages enjoyed the Geocaching crash course. Pictured is the group venturing into the South Tama Prairie looking to find a cache. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MEYER

All community members are welcomed to join the Tama-Toledo Community Visioning Committee. The group would love to see an increase in active members. Meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at the Toledo Public Library at 5:30 p.m. No July meeting is being held.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page and their website https://cv.tamatoledo.org/.