The third year of the Green Goose Chase did not disappoint! With new game elements, a flock of returning teams, fast flying NEW teams and lots of great sustainability work to explore, this year's game flew high. With over 40 missions for 2023, we knew teams would be busy.
From families to friends and coworkers to classmates, teams came in all shapes and sizes. We had 80 teams sign up to play with 63 teams completing more than one mission. What was most amazing was the number of submissions. We had an over 30% increase in submissions from last year for a total of 1,284 submissions. While our total team count was slightly lower than last year, teams were more engaged and completed more missions on average. Infact, nine teams completed ALL of the missions! I bet their wings were tired.
Each year before the game begins, co-creators Casey & Carrie start hatching up ideas on how to make the game eggstra exciting. That process involves crafting new missions and reaching out to community partners. Not to be surprised, but those community partners and members rallied and brought us new ideas, new locations and new ways to engage with our community.
One thing we LOVE about the Green Goose Chase is the ability to further our mission to celebrate local sustainability. That means getting teams to head out to other organizations and locations doing good work. Places like the People's Food Coop highlighted the importance of Fair Trade and even provided teams with free fair-trade treats if they knew the right code word. The La Crosse Public Library on Main Street showed off endless creative possibilities in their new creation space including a special 3-D printed green goose. Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Onalaska invited teams to showcase their hosting skills as they made hilarious infomercials proving one man's trash is another's treasure. And new to the game, local shops and stores in the Historic Old Towne North along Caledonia Street welcomed teams with hidden geese, a golden egg and lots of leafy smiles.
If you didn't play, you might be wondering what is the Green Goose Chase? Well, the best way to explain it is that the Green Goose Chase is a mission-based game meets scavenger hunt where teams accrue points by texting in answers, submitting photos & videos, and heading to specific locations to obtain a GPS location tag all through an app on a smart phone or device. We took the extra step by making each of these missions relate back to a Good Life Goal. Teams get the opportunity to experience local sustainability efforts, explore nature, learn about the good life goals and have fun together.
Wondering what a mission looks like? Read two of the 2023 missions below.
Here Comes the Sun
Good Life Goal 7: Use Clean Energy
Powering our life using solar energy makes sense for
all sorts of reasons, even in Wisconsin! By using sunshine--a free, renewable source--to power your house, you can reduce or even eliminate your electric bills. Adding solar to your home boosts your property value, especially as the demand for solar-equipped houses grows. Installing solar also creates jobs and helps the local economy. And of course, transitioning to solar is a must-do for reducing air pollution responsible for climate change.
Between the dropping cost of solar panels and the number of incentives and federal tax credits available, installing solar panels on your home has never been cheaper. Find a solar array in your neighborhood. Take a video of your team rising like the sun to power the solar panels. Feel free to accessorize!!
Good Life Goal 14: Clean our Seas
You probably knew that geese migrate, but did you know that some fish migrate, too? Some native species of fish, like the American Paddlefish, migrate throughout the Mississippi River system of which the Driftless region is a part. Unfortunately, the Paddlefish is listed as a vulnerable species because dams and habitat loss throughout our river system prevent them from migrating. Why should we care? Remember, we are part of a complex ecosystem where every organism, including the Paddlefish, has an important role to play. Removing any one species from the ecosystem creates problems that ripple outward, impacting all other species within the system (including us!). Learn about the American Paddlefish using the link. Then, take a picture of a teammate posing like Paddlefish. Props encouraged!
One thing that get's us every year is the amazing posts from AMAZING teams throughout the week. We heard from MANY people how watching the dashboard fill with submissions gave them excitement and inspiration to do and learn more. Don't just take our word for it....here are some comments from teams this year!
This such a cool idea and we loved being a part of it! We learned a lot about how La Crosse can be and is becoming more eco-friendly; and how we can help! Thank you!
This was a great way to explore things in community we don't know about. Also a great chance for entire family to get out and explore together.
Keep it up! gets a lot of people out into the community to learn about new sustainable initiatives they may not have been exposed to if not for this game.
I just want more missions but it’s probably because we’re competitive and it was fun to discover new things around the city or revisit places we already love!
We also love sharing a few of the goose-tastic submissions from 2023.
Wrapping up the Green Goose Chase for 2023, teams flew down in the rain and cold to complete the Earth Fair missions in Myrick Park. Missions had teams doing the hand jive on "Green Lightning" - the City of La Crosse EV MTU Bus, learning about No Mow May and the importance of pollinators, and finding facts in the recent City of La Crosse Climate Action Plan. 30 teams made their way to the Earth Fair and many stuck around to help celebrate at the Team Celebration Event where we handed out EGGY Trophies and prizes.
The Green Goose Chase would not be possible without the support of many people and organizations especially the La Crosse Community foundation for awarding us a mini-grant to help offset the cost to purchase the game APP and other game expenses. This mini grant along with the generosity of the Sustainability Institute members allowed us to run the Green Goose Chase for a third year completely FREE to all participants. THANK YOU!
In addition, we couldn't be more grateful for all the teams, community partner organizations, and prize donors that made this year a HUGE success. Until next year....HONK!
A special thank you to this year's prize & celebration event donors!
If you are a community organization that would like to highlight your sustainability work or have a mission idea for next year’s event, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org