Pokémon invade Metro Parks

Your Metro Parks have always been a great place to see birds, deer and other wildlife as you walk and explore the trails. For the past week, staff at several Metro Parks reported a new influx of creatures wandering the trails, hopping around the picnic tables and fluttering around the feeders at the nature center. Staff also noticed that hundreds of new visitors to the park were out searching for these creatures with names like Pidgey, Kakuna and Spearow.

Fear not… these pocket monsters are not an invasive species that can wreak havoc on our native flora and fauna but are part of the Pokémon GO craze that hit the country on July 7.

Attendance at Highbanks doubled last Monday because so many people came out to play this augmented reality game. Staff soon learned that the park was the site for several gyms, where gamers can battle against other Pokemon “trainers.” Blendon Woods was so full last week that staff created a sign to help visitors with parking and other issues of crowding.

Blendon Woods Ranger Brandon Novotny with kids searching for Pokémon.
Blendon Woods Ranger Brandon Novotny with kids searching for Pokémon.

It’s no secret to a Pokémon player that parks are a must-go for playing this game. Gamers get a chance to enjoy nature, not worry about speeding cars and meet other like-minded folks. Several gamers are discovering Metro Parks that they have never visited before.

Join in the fun this weekend as three parks are doing programs to help you find more Pokémon.

We invite all trainers to head out to our parks and have a blast. Bring your smart phones and join Naturalist Cameron Svoboda for a Pokémon GO Safari this Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17 at 1 pm at the nature center at Blacklick Woods on a search of the park for Charmander and friends.

Head to Glacier Ridge on Sunday, July 17 and catch pocket monsters between noon and 6pm. Prizes will be awarded for the most catches, most eggs hatched, creative posts on Metro Parks Facebook and Instagram and other categories. Find more details at the registration table.

Find Squirtle, Psyduck and other pocket monsters at the naturalist office at Sharon Woods this Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17 between 2 and 6 pm and take a safari aboard our free Pokémon Tram. The shuttle will travel around the park to assist in finding critters or incubating your eggs. And visit our roving nature station at the Schrock Lake Pokémon gyms. Catch ’em all.

If you miss a program this weekend, we have one the following week-end.

Blendon Woods Gym Badge Battle
Calling all members from teams Mystic, Valor and Instinct to Blendon Woods Metro Park to capture the crown and win the gym badge. Battles begin at 6pm Friday July 22. Your team will have access to the park and battle it out to see who can have control of the most gyms after the 2- hour period. The team that controls the most by 8pm will be crowned the winners. Each team will be given a large area to meet up at and strategize before the 6 pm battle begins. Teams may arrive at 5 pm.