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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Polk County Conservation gets creative to keep visitors coming during winter months

Leaders plan to increase winter visitors to county parks through a digital scavenger hunt.

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — To get more visitors to county parks during the winter months, Polk County Conservation has created the Chill Out Challenge.

It consists of different missions that can be done at home or in the different county parks.

To compete, participants must download the GooseChase app and search for "Polk County Chill Out Challenge".

From there, "just go to the mission board and see what type of missions are posted," naturalist Heidi Anderson said. 

"Each mission is worth a different point value." 

New missions are posted each week. This week, six are up. 

Users must record a video of themselves doing an activity or write about it, and then post it on the app to get credit.

The challenge is a way people in the Des Moines area can find different ways to stay active and enjoy themselves during the pandemic.

"People are looking for safe family activities to do in our COVID pandemic times, and going outdoors was a safe activity to do with COVID," Anderson said.

There are also prizes available for the team with the most points.

"The team with the most points will win a two-night stay at the Jester Park cabins, which is valued at about $230," Anderson said.

Other prizes include $50 towards any Polk County Conservation shelter reservation and a family four-pack mini-golf package at the Jester Park Golf Course.

600 people have signed up since Monday and made 250 teams. The challenge runs from Dec. 28 through Jan. 31. 

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