Recently, you may have been walking in a park or around a town square and stumbled upon colorful, painted rocks hiding in bushes or grass. This is no coincidence, a fun trend has formed in the metro area and beyond.

The rocks are a part of a state and nationwide scavenger hunt; people are painting rocks with fun designs and often motivational quotes and sayings to brighten the days of those who find them.

You can join in by searching your local area for these cool rocks, or making your own and hiding them for others to find. The “Georgia Rocks” Facebook group has over 1400 members, and is full of rock design inspiration. Members post pictures of the rocks they find, for the makers to then comment and tell the story. There are hundreds of groups all over the state and country. Most of the rocks from specific Facebook groups have the name of the group written on the back, so keep an eye out!

It is hard to say where exactly this trend started, but “The Kindness Rocks Project”, which began in Cape Cod,  Mass. may have been the start. The goal of this project is to “Inspire others through randomly-placed rocks, and recruit every person who stumbles upon it to join in…” Visit thekindnessrocksproject.com to learn more.

When choosing where to place your rocks, remember to keep it in a public place where others can find them. Make sure the area allows the rocks, Georgia State Parks for example, do not allow it. A reminder posted on the Facebook page states: “Some of you may already know about the ‘painted rock’ scavenger hunt trend. We’d like to remind our visitors that this is not allowed in Georgia’s State Parks because we support “Leave No Trace.”’

Tips for Painting Rocks

There are tons of designs on Google and Pinterest for inspiration–food designs such a pizza or doughnuts and Disney characters. Here are some tips for making your own:

Make sure the rock is clean and flat: If you found the rock, make sure to clean the surface, and make sure the surface is smooth enough to paint. Local garden and home improvement stores also sell bags of plain rocks.

Use the correct paint: Acrylic paint and craft acrylic paint will hold on best outside. Paint pens are also a good option for writing words or drawing small details.

Seal and protect the rock: Use a brush-on or spray-on sealant such as Mod Podge or other paint-on varnish or spray-on low-odor clear finishes.

Dunwoody Rocks Event

In conjunction with the Spruill Center for the Arts and the City of Dunwoody, the Dunwoody Nature Center is launching “Dunwoody Rocks!” Members of the community will be able to come to the Nature Center between Sept. 11 and Oct. 28 to get a rock to decorate. Three painting workshops will also be held: Dunwoody Nature Center: Oct. 7, 10 a.m. Brook Run Park: Oct. 14, 9 a.m. Spruill Arts Center: Oct. 21, 10 a.m.

The rock unveiling will be Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., where participants can place their rocks and also enjoy a picnic lunch and DJ.

– Teresa Farkas

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