BY ROCHELLE A. SHENK
Visitors to Mummau Park will notice that the kiosk located near the walking trail along Rife Run is sporting some new signs.
What may not be as readily apparent is the park's new geocache site.
The signs and geocache site are part of the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance's ongoing effort to improve the nearly 11-acre park, which straddles the border between Manheim Borough and Rapho Township.
Sara Gibson, Rapho Township manager and CCWA representative, said the organization has been pursuing improvement projects at the park since a streambank restoration effort was initiated in 2002. The project was completed in 2004, and an educational kiosk and small overlook platform were added to allow the public better access to view and understand the extensive improvements made to the stream there.
The eight-sided cedar kiosk was designed and built as part of Manheim Central student Chris Ream's Eagle Scout project.
"It is an excellent teaching tool. The signage features environmental information about the Chiques Creek and Chesapeake Bay watersheds," Gibson said.
Like many areas in Manheim, Mummau Park suffered damage from floodwaters of Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. Floodwaters washed out a walking path along Rife Run, swept away mulch around the playground and damaged the surface of the ballfield.
Gibson said the kiosk was inundated by floodwater, causing damage to the displays of photos and graphics.
In December 2011, Rapho Township public works employees repaired flood damage to the park, and the CCWA took on the task of revamping the signs at the kiosk. Gibson said representatives of LandStudies in Lititz volunteered to help update the panels, which were designed by LandStudies landscape architect Kelly Gutshall.
The project was funded by an environmental education grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection and local sponsors including the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, Gebhard Tree Care, Bond Caster Corp., Fenner Drives, B.R. Kreider, Chuck Thompson Realty, Harbor Engineering and Bigbee Steel.
CCWA also has created the park's third geocache site. Geocaching is a sport in which participants hunt for hidden boxes and logbooks based on clues and GPS coordinates. The caches must be placed at least 528 feet apart, according to rules of the sport.
CCWA member Jerry Wolfe, a geocacher who coordinated the project, said, "We wanted to bring people to Mummau Park to see the kiosk and what we've accomplished in the park."
Wolfe said that as of Feb. 26, 14 people had found the newest cache at the park and signed the logbook. This geocache site is CCWA's second in a park in the community, Wolfe said, but he asked that the exact locations of the sites not be disclosed. Part of the challenge is finding the location.
"We're just getting our feet wet with creating geocache site," she said. "Going forward, we'll have one at each of our projects."
For information about geocaching or GPS coordinates of these sites, visit www.geocaching.com
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