Kate Chen (middle) cheered on eight-year-old daughter Tina Wang (left) and her friend Melanie Liu, 8, during the Kid Run part of the 2018 Saanich Cycling Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)

Kate Chen (middle) cheered on eight-year-old daughter Tina Wang (left) and her friend Melanie Liu, 8, during the Kid Run part of the 2018 Saanich Cycling Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich scavenger hunt replaces annual Cycling Festival

Participants encouraged to ‘walk or roll’ to 20 secret sites, submit photo proof for prizes

Get your bikes tuned up, lace your sneakers and brush up on Saanich lore ahead of GeoQuest – a 10-day, district-wide outdoor scavenger hunt starting on Earth Day.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Saanich’s annual Cycling Festival was cancelled for the second year in a row, so staff were looking for a fun way to get families outside on their bikes to celebrate spring safely, said Coun. Judy Brownoff, chair of Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation advisory committee. After some deliberation, GeoQuest was born.

READ ALSO: Saanich Cycling Festival focuses on family

Every day from April 22 to May 1, staff will post images and clues hinting at two sites in Saanich on its Parks, Recreation and Community Services Facebook page.

Saanich’s outdoor GeoQuest scavenger hunt will take place from April 22 to May 1. (Image via the District of Saanich)

Participants must identify the sites and “walk or roll” to the location and take a photo of themselves to submit for the contest.

Clues for 20 sites will be shared over the course of the event and a photo at each constitutes an entry for prizes including an $800 gift card to Cycles West and various baskets valued at $250 – themes range from gardening and golf to family games and emergency preparedness.

READ ALSO: Saanich looks at creative alternatives after popular summer events cancelled

Locations include natural ecosystems, public art installations, park features and heritage sites “spread throughout Saanich,” Brownoff said. The two sites selected for each day have been paired so that they can be found near one another and all 20 can be accessed by bike or on foot as the goal is for participants to use active transportation to get around.

“We want to get as many people out to explore these places,” Brownoff said. She added that, unlike the one-day Cycling Festival event, participants can go at their own pace and try to solve as many of the clues as they can at any time before May 1.

Photos can be submitted on the GeoQuest event page at saanich.ca or by emailing the event coordinator at rob.phillips@saanich.ca.

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