When planning for the 2021 Earth Fair, we knew things would look a bit different. That opportunity opened the door for some new and fresh ideas one which was the Green Goose Chase. We were excited to introduce this new interactive element to the Earth Fair and get people celebrating the entire week. With the help of some motivated UWL students, we began prepping this fun game. Little did we know how much interaction and participation would evolve. Can you believe we had 42 active teams with over 680 submissions?!
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 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. By taking action towards these goals players are helping to create a cleaner, safer, healthier more vibrant Driftless Region.
Some missions focused on finding information online or participating in Earth Fair virtual events to text in clues. Other's had teams getting outside enjoying nature while select missions had them finding and experiencing locations around the La Crosse.
What also made this event unique was that teams didn't have to have all members in the same household. We encouraged families to participate, but we also stressed that the team may be a group of friends, co-workers or even people across the U.S. One team had members in San Francisco, Orlando, New Hampshire, Madison and here in La Crosse. They were able to split missions based on what was required to complete the mission.
Need an example of what missions looked like? Check out this mission which was tied to Good Life Goal 9 and the newly launched Drift Cycle Bike Share Program:
MISSION: Driftin' Away
Good Life Goal 9: Make smart choices.
We use our cars A LOT, even for trips under one mile. According to the EPA, if we cut the number of those trips in half by powering them with our feet or bikes instead, it would be like taking 400,000 cars off the road each year! Drift Bikeshare is a new program in downtown La Crosse designed to reduce the number of short trips people take by car and give visitors a fun way to move around town. Take a photo or video of two team members riding orange Drift bicycles simultaneously!
We also made sure team members had instructions on how to download the app, get a ride for free, and encouraged using public transportation, bike riding and or walking to get to locations. Check out these fun submissions from a few of the teams below.
Another fun & favorited mission was tied to finding art in nature.
MISSION: Pinecone Picasso
Good Life Goal 15: Love nature.
Get creative and make a face out of found objects from nature. Then snap a pic of your art work and submit.
We also highlighted our Legacy Sponsors within certain missions. This mission had teams exploring some of the great preserved lands in our area.
MISSION: I'm Flying!
Good Life Goal 15: Love nature.
Discover the wonders of the natural world and protect native plants and animals by supporting nature preserves. The Mississippi Valley Conservancy protects over 21,600 acres of land in our area. That's nearly 16,000 football fields! Visit a Mississippi Valley Conservancy Nature Preserve (linked below) and submit a photo of two team members reenacting the famous Jack and Rose scene at the front of the Titanic next to the trailhead kiosk.
Need directions? Check out the interactive trail map sponsored by the Paul E. Stry Foundation! It shows details for the La Crosse River Conservancy, New Amsterdam Grasslands, and so many more local trails: https://www.natureconnectionslax.org/
While this Legacy Sponsor highlighted mission had teams heading to a serene location to focus on wellbeing.
MISSION: Meditation Moment
Good Life Goal 3: Stay well.
You can't see or touch stress, but you can feel its effects on your mind and body. In the short term, stress quickens your heart rate and breathing and increases your blood pressure.
Take a moment to meditate or relax in a beautiful setting like the Riverside International Friendship Gardens! This collection of public gardens celebrates La Crosse’s sister-city relationships with communities in China, Germany, France, Russia, Norway, Ireland and Cameroon. It is open daily whenever Riverside Park is open.
There were 39 missions total which gave teams the opportunity to find missions they wanted to get involved in or learn more about. Only a few missions were tricky and had just a couple teams locating the right answer. Can you figure this one out?
Good Life Goal 11: Love where you live.
Myrick, Riverside and Pettibone are all popular La Crosse area parks, but see if you can figure out the park where the Green Goose would hang out!
Teams needed to find this park location and use their GPS location tag to confirm they found the right location. Do you have a guess which park was correct?
After an exciting week of missions, it was time to celebrate and reward our teams. Teams who accrued at least 1,000 points were entered into a random drawing for prizes. Thanks to the generous supporters of the Earth Fair, we were able to award 19 teams with prizes! Congratulations to the teams who won prizes:
JuKa - $250 Downtown Main Street La Crosse Gift Certificate
CdubT - $150 Downtown Main Street La Crosse Gift Certificate
Trash Destroyers - $50 Downtown Main Street La Crosse Gift Certificate
LoveSpring - $50 Downtown Main Street La Crosse Gift Certificate
Wasted Potential - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
PhatUrtherz - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
LaudatoSiFamily - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
awesomesauce - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Not-Wertless - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
GiggleGaggle - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Super S - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Javagrrl - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Outdoor Recreation Community - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Defenders of Planet Earth - $25 Cameron Park Farmer's Market Tokens
Whoop There It Is - Nature Themed Book
Hot La Crosse Buns - Nature Themed Book
Good Life Goals - Nature Themed Book
The Green Team - Nature Themed Book
Bri :) - Nature Themed Book
We also had some teams who completed ALL of the missions.
Our Mission Masters and top two teams were:
and the three others teams that rounded out our top five leader board were:
3. Octopus on the Go
4. Trash Destroyers
We had an amazing week with all of the teams who played the Green Goose Chase this year. We cannot wait to make next year bigger and better with more ways for teams to get involved with sustainability and our region. Our hopes would be another week long scavenger hunt with more missions, more teams and a team celebration culminating at the 2022 Earth Fair in Myrick Park. Stay tuned!
A special thank you to the Earth Fair legacy sponsors and the UWL student interns.
(Amanda, Dane, Christian, Holly & Austin)
If you participated in this year’s Green Goose Chase and have mission ideas for next year’s event, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org