Natasha Lovato / NewsBreak Denver
(Douglas County, Colo.) The Decode Douglas County Outdoors program rewards residents with fun prizes for getting active in Douglas County parks, trails and open spaces.
Decode DougCo allows the whole family to delve into some of Douglas County's most beautiful spots as the weather heats up.
To get started on the treasure hunt, pick up a decoder booklet or print your own, read the rules to learn how to play and find your starting point. Residents can pick up booklets during office hours at the Philip S. Miller County Building in the lobby at 100 Third Street in Castle Rock or the Douglas County Parks Office lobby in Littleton.
The adventure leads participants to eight Douglas County Open spaces or parks where they would discover a wooden post with a passport stamp on top that contains a numeric clue. Participants can then use a crayon or pencil to create a rubbing of the clue that will lead them to their next location.
After participants collect all eight stamp rubbings, they can crack the code to unlock the Decode DougCo treasure chest and claim a prize. Participants also get entered into the grand prize drawing in December.
Wendy Manitta Holmes, the communications and public affairs director for Douglas County government, said more than 1,000 people have participated in the treasure hunt since the program launched in 2018. She said Decode DougCo encourages people of all ages and abilities to discover new parks, trails and open spaces.
"It's just one part of our commitment to providing resources that allow our residents to lead active, healthy lives and one of the reasons Douglas County is consistently named one of the healthiest counties in Colorado and one of the healthiest counties in the United States," Holmes said.
More than 46% of Douglas County is public or protected land, so there's still plenty of open space to explore even after participants complete the treasure hunt.