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Find Me FeLeap scavenger hunt comes to Stark Parks

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

JACKSON TWP.  Stark Parks has been trying different ways this year to keep everyone on the trails around the county. One of the more recent projects is a new scavenger hunt called Find Me FeLeap where hikers, bikers, runners and walkers can find hidden, painted wooden FeLeap signs along some of the local trails.

Jackson High School student Ben Weaver with one of his Find Me FeLeap signs he made for a scavenger hunt project for Stark Parks.

When a person, family or group finds one or more of the signs, they can take a photo or selfie and then share it online at #findmeFeleap. The idea and the signs came from Jackson High School student and Life Scout Ben Weaver with Troop 927-Lake Cable, who developed the idea, designed and made the signs and placed 12 signs along the Stark Parks trails.

“We (Stark Parks) hope to have the FeLeaps on display for several seasons and for the rest of this fall and winter as we expect the increase in visitation to continue,” wrote Public relations coordinator Jared Shive wrote. “The reviews and shared pictures have been very positive, especially with some warmer weather in early November. Some of the photo shares knew about them and others found FeLeap by accident.” 

Weaver came up with the idea for the signs after seeing another Stark Parks project in their newsletter. He thought the project would encourage area families to get out on the trails.

“I approached Stark Parks about the idea of a scavenger hunt after seeing a picture of the kids club mascot in the newsletter,” Weaver wrote. “I combined that with the polar bear signs sprinkled throughout Jackson Township. The thought was to use the kids club mascot to get more families to explore different areas within Stark Parks.” 

He said the signs are made from pressure treated lumber and the actual sign is metal so the they will last a while. The signs are also designed so that they can be relocated whenever Stark Parks wants to change the adventure.  

“Part of the project was showing leadership, so I designed the signs," Weaver said. "Then with the help of my troop and my family, we constructed the signs in my driveway. It took some time to cut all of the lumber into kits and then build and paint them. I worked with Stark Parks to identify some of the lesser visited parks and that was where we initially placed FeLeap.”

Walkers, runners and bikers will be seeing some of these Find Me FeLeap project along trails in some of the Stark Parks.

The parks where visitors can search for FeLeap signs include:

• Fichtner Park, 12833 Market Ave N, Hartville

Hint: Look for a structure to view wildlife from along the trail.

• Deer Creek Reservoir, 14514 Price St NE, Alliance

Hint: Two in one trip! Bridges and access points to the water are always good places to spot frogs.

Minerva Connector Trail, 501 Almeda Ave., Minerva

Hint: Keep an eye along the creek as you walk the trail!

Fry Family Park, 2533 Farber St SE, Magnolia

Hint: Another double! Hike the Shelter Trail and then take the Sandy Valley Trail toward the Westbrook Trailhead. If you miss it, you will have a fun climb back up the hill!

Petros Lake Park, 3519 Perry Dr SW, Canton

Hint: Take a Mindfulness Walk beginning at the Hickory Trail on your right. Park by the shelter.

Cook’s Lagoon, 1819 Mahoning Rd NE, Canton

Hint: Just take a loop around the trail and keep your eyes ready for FeLeap at anytime, especially around the back of the park.

Devonshire Park, 4679 South Blvd NW, Canton

Hint: Double trouble find again! Rumor has it it that FeLeap took a break to rest at a bench near the pond. Watch the tree line and in bushes along the trail.

Sippo Lake Park-East, 5300 Tyner St, Canton

Hint: Check that shoreline near the marina!

Sippo Lake Park-West, 800 Genoa Ave NW, Massillon

Hint: FeLeap also appreciates the wildlife enclosures and checking out the animal ambassadors at the Wildlife Conservation Center.

According to Weaver, the goal of the project was to get families out and explore all of the opportunities that Stark Parks has to offer. The signs were intentionally designed to appeal to the younger members of the families and to get them excited to go out and find FeLeap within Stark Parks. 

“Scout projects have typically added or improved amenities to an area," Shive said. "Ben’s idea was similar to that concept while also promoting to visit FeLeap while visiting and experiencing an area. We were very impressed with his professionalism and communication from the concept to production.”   

“I am very happy with the response from the community," Weaver said. "Everyone that has commented on the Facebook page has been positive and they seem excited to search the parks to find him. We also made a couple of extra’s in the event that they want to expand the scavenger hunt. The signs are designed to be portable, but they are securely fastened to the ground. Stark Parks can relocate them at any point in time.”