Updated: May 5
Geocachers are passionate about a lot of things. Among them are adventure, figuring out complex puzzles, travel, community and cleaning up the environment. The itch that is that last item is most easily scratched through a type of event called CITOs. Also known as Cache In Trash Out, Groundspeak defines these as "...an environmental initiative supported by the geocaching community. Since 2002, CITO has helped preserve the natural beauty of cache-friendly spaces. In that time, more than 363,000 people have volunteered at 18,000 CITO events."
I attended my first CITO in 2012 (which also happened to be my first event ever). Hosted by trekkie79 (Steve and Rita) I ended up meeting a lot of folks there that have become life long friends. Some CITOs are quite simple and are quite literally a casual walk through a park with a grabber picking up bits of trash where as others could require anything from a kayak to heavy tools and lots of sweat and muscle. I've helped my fellow cachers clean up parks and lakes, fix up playgrounds, lay mulch on trails and even repair fences for a buffalo sanctuary. We've extracted thousands of pounds of trash in the forms of paper, scrap metal, plastics of all manner, tires, appliances and even toilets. Some unique finds include a message in a bottle stuck along the shore of the Missouri river and a 100 year old fire extinguisher.
Today I attended an event by my friend Truvtter (Penni) to celebrate Earth Day 2021. It was a bit cool but still a great joy to see so many smiling faces work to improve a small slice of the planet. I hope to continue to attend CITOs for many years to come.