The Hunt is On for the Maple Grove Medallion
The Maple Grove Medallion goes missing once every year, and it’s up to you to find it. If you haven’t come out and participated in The Maple Grove Medallion Hunt, this might be your year. The process is simple but genius. Clues are published each Thursday and the public scrambles to follow these coded clues to find the medallion that has been carefully hidden in one of the areas parks.
The prize: five hundred dollars and, more importantly, the chance to have some good old fashion, Leave-It-to-Beaver fun. “It’s a great way to get the whole family out and maybe win some vacation money,” says Mike Kinnan of the Lookout Bar and Grill. All you need is a Maple Grove Days button ($3) from a Maple Grove Ambassador candidate or at the Maple Grove Community Center, and most importantly an adventurous spirit.
It all started as a fundraiser for The Maple Grove Ambassador program back in 2006. With sponsorship from the Maple Grove Community Organization and the Lookout Bar & Grill, a secret team of was assembled. Until now the name of the clue writer was kept highly secret, but here, for the inquiring eyes of Maple Grove Magazine readers only, the current writer is revealed. Can you see it?
Every year this secret team scopes the local parks and decides where to hide the medallion. “I remember one year, the clue said it was hidden under a crab apple tree. We thought there were tons of crab apple trees. Well, we found out there was only one crab apple tree in all of Maple Grove.” Kinnan reminisces.
The clue making is a learning process for everyone—who knew that Maple Grove only has one crab apple tree? According to Deb Syhre, Maple Grove Days chair, the hunt “challenged the public to learn what amenities each of the parks offered.” Hunters become quite the mini-experts on Maple Grove.
Once the placing of the medallion is decided and the clues are written, they are posted on the Maple Grove Days website (mgco.com) and printed each Thursday in the Osseo-Maple Grove Press and the Maple Grove Patch.
No one anticipated how much people would love the hunt. “We were surprised at how quickly this became a favorite event for people and how they are ready and waiting for the next clue to come out each week,” says Deb Syhre. One year a baseball outfield was trampled by people searching for the medallion, “it looked like a herd of bison had ran through it,” says Kinnan.
Young and old are clearly having fun with this event and its clever hiding strategies. One winner professed to have walked past the medallion a million times before finding it. All sorts of families take part. In 2009 a dog named Sassy and her owner Liz won the prize.
The medallion can be found by people of every skill level. No shovels or screw-drivers are required, as it is always hidden on the ground. Every year the winner is invited to share their story of finding the medallion from the main stage at the Community Center, during the Saturday night of the week-long Maple Grove Days festival. Maybe this year it will be you.
The Medallion was found by Wayne Wallace at Boundary Creek Park in this exact location: Go into the park where Quarker Ln. and 104th Ave. meet at the corner of 103 Place No. (parking lot). Walk past the building, past the hockey rink, through the playground all the way into the woods. The edge of the woods curves around, forming a corner just about under the power line. There's an opening for a dirt path and about 20 steps in it intersects with another dirt path from the left, forming a Y. On the right side (lakeside), there's a stump, quite low to the ground with a hollowed out middle, right there...
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