Alexandra Zanussi

Hidden frogs seek to travel the globe

Release the frogs! That’s what the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance will be doing later this month. These green amphibians however are not the living, ribbiting kind.

Release the frogs!

That’s what the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance will be doing later this month. These green amphibians however are not the living, ribbiting kind.

They are called Cachekinz, also known as “trackables” or “travel bugs.” The are key chain-like, two-dimensional, aluminium frogs, each with their own name and ID number.

They are part of the organization’s new geocaching endeavor.

Geocaching — real-world treasure hunting for hidden containers using GPS devices — is an increasing popular activity for people around the world, said Alexandra Zanussi, the summer outreach student with the watershed alliance.

Cachekinz are geocaching items with a mission: to travel the world.

Red Deer watershed alliance frogs will be trying to get to Lake Tahoe in New Zealand, the Nile River in Egypt, China’s Three Gorges Dam, England’s Thames River, the Dunvegan bridge over the Peace River, Churchill, Man., Niagara Falls, the Hoover Dam and Lake Titicaca in Peru.

“We were bouncing around ideas about things we could do to spread more information about the watershed and my friend had told me about these travel bugs so I thought it’d be a fun, community thing,” said Zanussi. “It’s all about adventure. And kids love it — teens, university students, older adults. It’s all ages.”

Five different geocaches — camouflaged buckets — have been made up, each containing one or two frogs and a number of other goodies, such as pens, stickers and toys.

These will be hidden around the region over the coming weeks. Interested treasure hunters can sign up for free at or download the mobile app to get started. They can then log in their frogs’ IDs so Zanussi can track their globe-trotting progress.

“One travel bug found in a geocache somewhere in Alberta had to get to Rome, and it made it there in four days because someone knew someone headed there.

“That’s what I want to see happen. It would be the ultimate to see all of our frogs make it to their destinations and back to Red Deer again by the end of summer,” said Zanussi.

When you find a geocache, the idea is to take something and leave something else in return, she added.

There are around 550 geocaches lurking in all kinds of nooks and crannies in Red Deer already and 2 million worldwide.

The Alliance tried a different geocaching project about four years ago but this one is more intensive and is also the first time trackables are being used, said Zanussi.

Jeff Hanger, the executive director of the local watershed alliance, said the geocaching initiative is about spreading information to make more people aware of the watershed and the importance in sustainability.

Each geocache also contains information sheets on the local watershed alliance and components to the Red Deer Rover watershed such as wetlands, riparian buffers and uplands.

“If one of these frogs is released and goes to the Nile, we’re actually connecting with people tied to great water sources and different solutions to different problems,” Hanger said. “It’s action on a global level . . . It’s quite exciting.”

The public can follow each frog’s journey via the watershed alliance’s website, social media and newsletters.

For more information, visit or email

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read