Beaver Creek Reserve hosts Spring GPS Hike

Educational hike took place in Chippewa Valley

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Maggie O'Brien

The GPS units used on the Spring GPS Hike

Beaver Creek Reserve hosted a Spring GPS Hike to allow participants a chance to practice using GPS units while hiking in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley. 

According to Beaver Creek Reserve’s website, the cost of this hike was $7 for Beaver Creek Reserve members and $10 for non-members. 

No experience was required for the Spring GPS Hike and it began with a quick lesson on GPS units and geocaching. After this, participants were allotted a few minutes of time to practice inputting coordinates into the GPS units. 

Then, the group split up to partake in a scavenger hunt, where the participants tried out their new skills by seeking multiple GPS coordinates. 

The coordinates led to small boxes filled with treasures, candies, stamps and a note with information about surrounding landmarks.

Deanna Grelecki, a WisCorps Naturalist at Beaver Creek Reserve, said Beaver Creek Reserve allows the naturalists to pick and design programs they are interested in running.

“I ran GPS programs for camps before this and it’s something that I always really enjoy doing,” Grelecki said. “So when they told me to create my own program, I said I’m definitely doing a GPS hike.”

Grelecki said she planned all of the courses and plotted all of the points for the scavenger hunt in preparation for the Spring GPS Hike. 

According to Grelecki, her main goal for the event was for participants to get outside and away from technology, and be able to successfully navigate with the GPS units while avoiding getting lost. 

Grelecki said she taught in an inner city and noticed the lack of opportunities for the children to get outside and explore due to being land-locked in the city, with limited access to nature and large outdoor spaces. 

“If there are opportunities to allow people to head out and enjoy spring and nature while doing something fun, I really want to provide that opportunity for people because I firsthand saw that,” Grelecki said. 

Grelecki said for the month of April, Beaver Creek Reserve is emphasizing the idea of “Earth Day Every Day.”

According to Beaver Creek Reserve’s website, “‘Earth Day Every Day’ encourages local community members to engage in sustainable and environmentally focused activities throughout the Chippewas Valley.”

Grelecki said Beaver Creek Reserve’s mission is broadly connecting people with nature. 

“Whether that be learning about plants that are here, or collecting maple syrup, we have so many varieties of things that, hopefully, for people in the community, something will catch their interest,” Grelecki said. 

Taryn Anday, an attendee of the Spring GPS Hike, said she decided to come to the hike with her family after her mother saw it featured online. 

According to Anday, the Spring GPS Hike was her first time visiting Beaver Creek Reserve. 

“The experience has been good and my daughter loved the displays and the nature outside,” Anday said.

After experiencing an event held at Beaver Creek Reserve and exploring the grounds, Anday said she felt it is an excellent place to gather with kids, friends and family.

To learn more about upcoming events at Beaver Creek Reserve, check out its event calendar

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].