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Seasoned searcher finds Strawberry Fest medallion

Seasoned medallion hunter Matthew Koskie of Hastings found the Strawberry Fest medallion hidden under the Ravine Parkway Bridge shortly after 10 a.m. Monday. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss

Only 10 minutes after the fourth clue was posted Monday morning, Hastings native Matthew Koskie found the Strawberry Fest medallion hidden beneath the Ravine Parkway Bridge.

"I never thought it would be in the southern part of town," Koskie, 23, said.

Over the course of the weekend, medallion hunters from around the area combed wooded areas and city and county trails in hopes of uncovering the marble prize. Koskie said the first three clues led searchers away from Kingston Park and out into the woods, but the fourth clue revealed the location.

"At first we all were looking in Hidden Valley Park because of the clue that said it was in an isolated area," Koskie said. "There were a lot of us that would keep running into each other at various spots so we all thought we were looking in the right area. But, when the fourth clue said city and county, it was basically a pick-up for me. I knew exactly where it was."

This was Koskie's first year searching for the Strawberry Fest medallion but he is no stranger to the hunt. Last year he found the Woodbury Days medallion and the year before he was within 10 feet of finding the St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion.

"I didn't put as much time into this hunt as I did in Woodbury last year," he said. "But the clues (this year) were so good that once the fourth clue was revealed I knew where to go."

It led him to a Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park trail beneath the bridge that runs between Cottage Grove City Hall and the Washington County South Service Center.

With his Strawberry Fest button in hand, Koskie won the $300 prize and said the money is going into a savings fund for a Fourth of July weekend trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota.