Much like last year’s endeavor, participating teams will be given a map and list of clues to aid them as they embark on an outdoors odyssey — trekking wooden trails to find hidden “treasures” representing the diversity of wildlife in the park. Organizers have added a few new wrinkles this go-round.
The DeKalb Neighbor caught up with the event’s trio of organizers for an insightful Q & A in advance of the big day.
1. How have organizers gone about trying to build on the success of last year’s event?
“We learned from last year’s event that our strongest support is local, so we’ve attempted to include the entire community here in the Tucker-Northlake area to participate this year. We also learned that our event has the greatest appeal for families, so we’ve reached out to the local schools, scout troops, churches and other organizations. Prizes have been donated by [a host of] local businesses … Tucker really turns out for community events and we’re hoping our second Great Henderson Hunt is no exception.”
2. What kind of feedback did you get from those who participated a year ago?
“Participants said that last year’s hunt was a great outdoor adventure, with the added bonus of wildlife education. The ages of participants ranged from under 4 years old to over 80, and all seemed to make some discovery during the hunt. Some learned about species that inhabit the park and others discovered new hiking trails. All left with a greater appreciation of our park and all that it offers to visitors.”
3. How would you describe the atmosphere at the event?
“Anticipation filled the air as teams studied the treasure map and list of clues, awaiting the start of the hunt. Once the hunt began, the atmosphere quickly changed to one of exuberance as teams made their way along the hiking trails in search of treasures. Organizers stationed along the hunt route could hear the cries of excitement as clues were deciphered, hiding locations were discovered, and treasures were found.”
4. Do you think events like this fill a void at the local level in regards to spreading awareness about nature, etc.?
“Definitely. Anytime you get families out into nature, you’re going to increase their awareness of it. And that the hunt focuses on wildlife increases awareness of the abundance and diversity of wildlife we have right here in Henderson Park. And while the ‘treasures’ focus on the fauna, most clues and hiding locations draw attention to the park’s flora.”
5. What are a few examples of the “hidden treasures” available in Henderson Park?
“Each ‘treasure’ is a small photograph of some form of wildlife found in Henderson Park. These include amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish, and a large variety of birds, including the Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird, and Red-shouldered Hawk. While the ‘treasures’ participants seek are hidden, the actual treasures they represent are available for all park visitors to enjoy. And any list of Henderson Park’s treasures must include its other amenities, such as Lake Erin, the soccer fields and tennis courts, a playground and pavilion, hiking trails, picnic shelters and a community garden.”
If you go:
The 2013 ‘Great Henderson Hunt’ will be on the grounds of the Henderson Park Soccer Complex from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.