Geocaching in Calgary's parks
Geocaching has quickly become a fun family event. To encourage low impact, healthy activities in parks, The City encourages seeking and placing geocaches in parks, natural areas and public greenspaces, if it is done in conjunction with related bylaws, policies, regulations, and does not interfere with Parks operations or management of the space.
There are other applicable policies, regulations and Parks management plans, including those pertaining to conservation and other recreation activities such as hiking and trail use.
See below for more information:
These acts are in place to protect our natural areas and foster responsible stewardship. Among other things, they include information requiring that citizens not disturb birds, their nests, feeding grounds, or any wetland areas.
Placement of Caches
Caches should be placed in areas publicly accessible from designated trails or along approved travel routes. Caches must be situated so that they can be found with minimal disturbance to the environment.
To protect our environment, PLEASE DO NOT:
- Damage or disturb soil, wildlife, vegetation, or any natural or cultural heritage elements. For example, do not step on, or clear away a space; do not nail anything to a tree.
- Place caches in animal burrows, tree cavities, or in/on special features such as amongst limestone rock within Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Park. Please leave holes in the ground or in trees alone.
- Dig holes of any size in any public space. For example, do not hide objects under moss, break branches or dig out rocks to place a cache.
- Disturb nesting birds or their nests. Migratory birds are federally protected.
- Place caches in Special Protection Natural Environment Parks except along the regional pathway.
- Place caches in riparian zones or within watercourses or water bodies as per the Water Act, Public Lands Act and the Federal Fisheries Act if fish bearing. Riparian zones are the vegetated area on both sides of a water body that separate the water from the rest of the landscape.
- Place geocaches within 10 metres of the top bank of any water body.
- Place caches in any facility, including buildings, playgrounds and park infrastructure such as sports field back stops and goal posts.
The City of Calgary Parks retains the right to remove any caches placed inappropriately.
- Stay on designated trails.
Official designated trails are established paths or formal trails that may be made of trail mix or shale. Designated trails are regularly maintained and can be found on a City of Calgary area map or brochure. An undesignated trail is any trail not recognized or maintained by The City of Calgary. Trail maps are available online or are present within the park.
- Place caches within one metre of the pathway within Special Protection Natural Environment Parks. Wildlife using areas adjacent to pathways and within Community Parks are habituated to people and human-related disturbances.
- Include in the cache either a concise hint and/or a small (no more than 10 cm) length of naturally coloured flagging in close proximity to the cache. Natural coloured flagging will not detract from the park environment, nor will it interfere with flagging used for designated purposes.
Caches must be removed once they are no longer being maintained. Parks will remove caches if they have a detrimental environmental impact, are impacting the use and enjoyment of the park by other park visitors, or have an impact on operation and maintenance.
Cache identification and contents
All caches in Calgary parks must be labelled “Geocache” on the outside of the container with the owner’s name and contact information inside. Caches cannot contain any prohibited items such as explosives, weapons or illegal substances, no food or beverage items or any other material that may attract wildlife, and must be suitable for all ages. No caches for commercial gain are permitted. Caches without proper identification and/or caches deemed inappropriate may be removed by Parks staff. Removed caches will be held at the nearest Parks Divisional Office. Police will be notified regarding caches that contain illegal material. Removal of a cache may occur without prior notification to the owner. Caches can be retrieved by contacting 311.
Permits not required
Permits or prior authorization is not required for cache placement providing the cache is placed in an area open to public use and consistent with the rules and regulations outlined here. Caches should be placed in areas normally accessed by the public.
Cache placement in City of Calgary Cemeteries
Please do not place caches among these items in municipal cemeteries:
- Memorial trees
- Memorial vases
- Memorial benches
- Memorial rocks
- Memorial bronze plaques
- Upright monuments
- Flat markers
- Pillow markers
Geocaching events may be allowed in Calgary parks with a special event permit providing the event is non-commercial in nature and has been approved through the permitting process. Please contact 311 for more information or apply online.
Related recreation and park management
Geocaching or cache placement within Calgary parks may not occur anywhere that may interfere with other approved recreational activities or management activities (rehabilitation zones, maintenance areas etc.)
For further information, please contact Calgary.Geocachers@gmail.com or call 311, 403-268-CITY (2489) if calling from outside Calgary.