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Eden Prairie Parks Meeting with Stu
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see Stu show us his process for application approval (proving how archaic it seems to be) which will I think prove to his boss what he's wasting his time and EP resources on. They don't realize how high-tech we are and that designating the off-limit areas or areas that will be under construction are all he needs to send to MF to keep things running smoothly.
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pippin and merry
Geocacher


Joined: 31 Aug 2007

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll bring email copies and laptop.
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great meeting and I am grateful to PearHead and Mrs. Mizzou for coming from so far away. Thank you to EPMN for taking the initiative for setting this all up and the headaches that went along with it. Thanks also to the rest of you who showed up to listen, observe, or provide your thoughts. You all were much more diplomatic than I could have been. And finally thanks to the cachers who couldn't come but provided valuable information.

It was nice to see friends. Thanks!
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Hal-oween
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Mar 2009

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe EPMN or others could share what was the outcome and if there are next steps to be taken?
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ThePurplePuppy
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Oct 2010

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hal-oween wrote:
Maybe EPMN or others could share what was the outcome and if there are next steps to be taken?


Please - I'd like to know too!
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The meeting last night went well I thought. Stu's boss, Jay, seemed very open to hearing what we had to say. We discussed why and how caches went through Stu's application process, issues various cachers have had with it including duplicate spots being approved by Stu within feet of each other in the same time period. We also discussed how caches were sometimes denied for a variety of reasons that didn't seem to hold to the policy. Stu has a tendency to arbitrarily decide that certain areas are off-limits even though the area was listed in the 2007 policy and hasn't changed in a way that would warrant it to be off-limits. He has also denied caches without really explaining why, such as an area that may be part of a park but isn't actually owned by EP so he doesn't have the authority to approve a cache there. That particular situation isn't being explained to the cacher properly in the denial. We also discussed how impractical listing the name on the outside of the cache can be rather than perhaps just having the word "geocache" listed on it somehow. We discussed how if EP were more cacher friendly and more of a "destination" it would bring revenue into the city via events such aspatronizing local eateries after WNC. Stu felt caches shouldn't be placed off trails where parks back up to homes. We felt that if the cache was within a reasonable amount off the trail or on the other side of the trail it shouldn't be an issue because people walk the trails for other reasons as well. The particular area we were talking about was Cardinal Creek and how the caches just wouldn't be allowed near the homes. It's a huge park that has potential.

With the show of technology and mapping capabilities it really is a waste of EP resources and unnecessary duplication. It appears that perhaps Jay will be open to updating the policy, maybe changing to a notification policy if all goes well. He took a lot of notes and seemed very reasonable. He was open to possibly sitting down again and discussing specific areas that have changed and may now be developed with paths that weren't there in 2007. MN Fruitcake had several great comments to add regarding taxpayers being able to use the parks, about how and what he looks for in approving caches, the rules for particular easements off trails, MNDOT, etc. and how he looks at and maps out the caches that are submitted to him. I think Jay was impressed with what he heard and that we seemed to know what we were talking about and how intimately familiar we are with the parks in EP, unlike many other groups that use a small portion of the parks, that require that the grass is mowed, the sports equipment and fields maintained, that paths be paved and shelters/warming houses be heated and maintained, etc. Geocaching does none of that. We require very little yet bring so much to the parks and we get so much enjoyment out of them.

If there's anything I've missed feel free to jump in and add to it! I very much appreciated so many hardhitters attending. We had Mrs. MNMizzou, GeoPierce, Magaroni, Hal-oween, MN Fruitcake, "Merry" of Pippin and Merry, and Kredep. THANK YOU!!!!


Last edited by EPMinnesota on Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice summary Carol.

Jay also seemed (to me anyway) to be genuinely curious about Eden Prairie reuptation in the geocaching world. How do we compare to other cities with regard to policies; % of cachers/park vs. other city or private property; wild area caching vs groomed parks caching.

Stu had a list of caches that he believed violated EP permission policy. That got a few of us stirred up as for some at least, permission had been obtained. But it seemed there were others that maybe hadn't. I didn't get a list. Anyone else?

I believe it was left that Jay and Stu would huddle up and get back to us with their thoughts.

Anything else?
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the reply I received today from Jay and Stu. I think there are a few unanswered questions still that we'll be pursuing but this ranks as a huge victory for eliminating the application process. THANKS to MN Fruitcake for impressing them that he CAN get it done for EP!!!!

Dear Eden Prairie Geocaching Enthusiast, Thank you again for spending time to help us better understand geocaching. It was fun to hear your knowledge and sense your passion. We are glad to know that the Eden Prairie park system plays such a large role in your recreational activity. Based on your feedback and the research we have completed, we are proposing the following steps: Provide a mapping layer indicating where caches are not permitted on City of Eden Prairie property. Add Cardinal Creek Conservation Area to the list of acceptable areas. Implement a six month trial period to direct cache applications to MNGeocachng.com for approval. Prior to implementing these modifications, we would overview them with the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission at the Monday, December 2nd, 7pm meeting. Our intent would be to present the current policies and the proposed modifications. If these are deemed to be appropriate, we would implement them immediately. Sincerely, Jay Lotthammer & Stu Fox
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very pleased with this response and while it doesn't answer all the questions, is certainly is a great step in the right direction. I'm hoping to attend that commission meeting as a show of support and to be available to ask/answer any questions. Anyone else wanting to join me would be most welcome. We need to nail down the date though because I'm showing Dec. 2 as a Friday.
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Now someone needs to explain to them the difference between the MnGCA and geocaching.com.
_________________
"Hi, I'm Moe, or as the women know me - Hey! You in the bushes."
-Moe, The Simpsons
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sigilwig44
Geocacher


Joined: 31 Mar 2011

Posts: 332

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why was this cache published by MN.Fruitcake if Stu. is the reviewer in EP.

Last edited by sigilwig44 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mrs. Mizzou
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 31 Oct 2007

Posts: 615

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigilwig44 wrote:
Why was [url=http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=ba8392c8-7911-4494-b748-aa8c37985f5c]this cache bublished by MN.Fruitcake if Stu. is the reviewer in EP.


Eden Prairie requires caches to be reviewed and approved by its Parks Dept before they are reviewed and approved by geocaching.com. Stu is not a reviewer for geocaching.com but only for the EP Parks Dept.
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sigilwig44
Geocacher


Joined: 31 Mar 2011

Posts: 332

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs. Mizzou wrote:
sigilwig44 wrote:
Why was [url=http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=ba8392c8-7911-4494-b748-aa8c37985f5c]this cache bublished by MN.Fruitcake if Stu. is the reviewer in EP.


Eden Prairie requires caches to be reviewed and approved by its Parks Dept before they are reviewed and approved by geocaching.com. Stu is not a reviewer for geocaching.com but only for the EP Parks Dept.


OK. That makes sense now.
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 463

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well huzzah and much rejoicing, I hope this will go through! Thanks for the advocacy everyone! And THANK YOU Fruitcake and everyone who has ever reviewed. You are heroes!!
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just wondering if we got a firm date of the commission meeting. Jay's email said Monday, December 2. Well December 2 is a Friday. I looked up on the website and the parks commission meets first Monday of the month at 7PM. So I'm assuming they mean Monday, December 5. However it could also be Monday, November 7. I'd like to attend and don't want to miss it. I'm happy to send an email asking, but didn't want to poke them multiple times. Have you had the date clarified yet?

Incidentally, I doubt the parks commission ever gets an audience, so it would be cool to have a show of force!
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