Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) events began in 2002 and are environmental initiatives that help preserve the natural beauty of cache-friendly spaces, such as parks, conservation lands, rivers and streams, forests, roadsides, cemeteries, and more. Per geocaching.com/CITO webpage, more than 363,000 people have volunteered at 18,000 CITO events worldwide since its inception. For several years now, virtual souvenirs have been awarded for attendance. Currently GC.com promotes clean-up efforts by dividing the year into two CITO seasons. For 2023, the CITO seasons run from Mar. 1 through May 31, and Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. Earn a souvenir by hosting or attending a CITO during a season.
Since CITOs typically involve trash and debris clean-up, sturdy work/garden gloves and shoes or waterproof boots are necessary. A neon vest is highly recommended if the event involves roadside clean-ups. A 'grabber' is sometimes handy, as are rakes, hoes, shovels, clippers etc, depending on the type of environmental impact that is involved with the CITO. There have been invasive honeysuckle removal, cemetery leaf raking, and tree planting at some CITO events. Always check the specifics before attending. Bags are usually provided by the CITO hosts, and sometimes water and snacks as well, but bringing your own sustenance is always a good idea.
Since CITO season 1 is upon us, an archival search in the St. Louis vicinity (out of curiosity) revealed that there have been more than 50 CITO events in our own SLAGA territory to date! The first occurred in 2003. "MO Cache, Less Trash" (GCF1AA), hosted by missourimule, took place at Creve Coeur Park on April 26, 2003 on Earth Day. The cache page description states:
"Join us for the St. Louis Area Geocaching Association's Cache-in, Trash-out park clean-up event. SLAGA is one of many Geocaching groups holding events across the country in celebration of Earth Day on April 26th!
Bring trash bags and your work gloves to help give Creve Coeur Park a good spring cleaning. We'll clean and cache, chat and chew!
The coordinates posted are for our reserved picnic shelter. The caches we'll include are "Man vs. Nature" and "Tour of Creve Coeur". The ratings on these caches are high - but prepare to work even harder for them since we'll be cleaning as we go!
We'll meet at 8:00 AM! Bring your own beverage. Bagels and cream cheese will be provided. We'll also have contests with prizes!
CITO t-shirts are also available in the Shop Groundspeak store for $3 each, and special event trash bags for $0.25."
It's hard to imagine an event t-shirt for only $3! That's showing SLAGA's age. Needless to say, for over 20 years now, CITO events have been a part of SLAGA commitment to help our local environment and improve the many places that geocachers enjoy. In July of 2019, SLAGA adopted a 0.5 mile section of Olive St. (Hwy 340) in West County St. Louis, and held their first 'highway' clean-up. Plans were for quarterly CITO events to be held along that stretch, but SLAGA folks are so good at the job, that it has become unnecessary to do so as often. This current quarter a substitute event is scheduled in lieu of the roadside event, yet still local to give back to the community in the area. Increasing number of CITO events have occurred yearly since the first in 2003, and this year is proving no different. Currently, three CITO events are on the calendar for season 1 in SLAGA land. Clear your calendars and plan to get those work supplies ready and get out and help make the world, or this little piece of it anyway, a better and cleaner place in 2023.
UPCOMING CITO EVENTS:
SLAGA CITO FAUST PARK (GCA46E) March 4, 2023, 9-11 am, hosted by Candyce54
CITO at Bellefontaine Cemetery (GCA458T) April 22, 2023, 9-11 am, hosted by L Frank/ Denmother
2023 CITO - Imperial Crown Pet Cemetery (GCA45WD) April 22, 2023, 9-Noon, hosted by Hobbit Taz