Scavenger hunt app encourages residents to explore local parks

Cody Giles / The Transcript

Kids play in the water at Westwood Family Aquatic Center May 22 during the center's soft opening for season ticket holders.

The City of Norman's Parks and Recreation Department is holding a citywide scavenger hunt throughout July to recognize National Park and Recreation Month.

To join the fun, Norman residents must download the GooseChase mobile application and use the code "PARKMONTH2019" to set up a scavenger hunt team.

"We just want everybody to be aware of what things Norman Parks and Recreation can offer to you as a resident living in Norman," Recreation Superintendent Jason Olsen said.

Olsen said 40 families have joined the mobile scavenger hunt, which launched July 3 and will remain open until July 31.

"We want to make everybody aware of everything we have and what an awesome park system we have in Norman," Olsen said. "We try to make sure that no matter where you live, there's a neighborhood park close for you to visit."

The app invites users to complete park-themed missions that earn them points and a spot on the leaderboard.

If a team earns 3,000 points, they receive four tickets to the city's family costume ball this October.

"We had the Mother Son Dance and our really popular Daddy Daughter Dance, so everyone has been asking for a dance that the whole family can attend," Olsen said. "This is that perfect opportunity."

The scavenger hunt currently offers about 15 challenges that encourage residents to visit and enjoy some of Norman's 65 parks.

Olsen said the parks department will continue to add new missions and clues to the scavenger hunt throughout July.

"I think Norman residents don't often realize that we do have as many awesome city parks as we do," Mayor Breea Clark said. "This is a fun way to get people out and about and recognize what a great job parks and recreation does with all of these parks."

In addition to getting families out to the parks, some missions encourage participation at city events like Westwood Family Aquatic Center's outdoor movies and Tourist for a Day on July 27.

"They've done a great job of incorporating not just the physical parks, but parks and recreation activities," Clark said.

Clark said her son downloaded the app and encouraged the rest of the family to form a scavenger hunt team together.

"It's just a great, cross-promotional activity all the way around," Clark said.

Olsen said Norman Parks and Recreation will continue to find a new, creative way to celebrate Norman's park system every July.

"Parks and Recreation Month is something we hope to start celebrating and make a tradition of here in Norman," Olsen said. "Every year, we're going to try to come up with something unique and fun to do in the month of July to get people out to our parks."