Paint a rock, hide it: Raleigh Rocks offers new search, find fun
Posted April 4
Updated April 5
Paint a rock. Place it in a public space. And make somebody's day.
That's the goal behind Raleigh Rocks, a month-old Facebook page launched by a local Wake County art teacher.
Sara Roberts, a mom of three and teacher at Wildwood Forest Elementary School, tells me that she was perusing art groups on Facebook and came across a Texas group with more than 3,000 members who make, hide and find painted rocks.
"Being an art teacher, who is always looking out for opportunities for community outreach, I quickly did a search to see if Raleigh had a similar group," Roberts tells me.
Here's how it works for Raleigh Rocks - and generally for the other groups:
- Get a rock and decorate it with permanent paint and markers, such as a Sharpie.
- Include the message, "Keep or hide, you decide! #RaleighRocks fb," on the bottom.
- Hide it in a public space.
- Share a picture and a clue where it is on the Raleigh Rocks Facebook page.
- Make the day of somebody who finds it as they walk through a park or other public space.
- Find a rock as you're walking through a local park or public space.
- Share on the Raleigh Rocks Facebook page a picture of the rock and where you found it.
- Then, hide the rock or keep it. Your choice.
"They don't have to be an extreme artist to do this," Roberts said. "They can paint one color and take a Sharpie and write a message that's going to make somebody's day. ... Sometimes people just need a sign and they're walking through the woods and they see a rock that says, 'it's going to be alright.' That kind of thing can change people's perspective on things. It's not meant to be an art contest."
Since launching the Facebook page about a month ago, Roberts' posts now reach close to 300 people. Her first "hide" was at Durant Nature Park where she placed 50 painted rocks on the Secret Creek Trail.
Now, she's encouraging people to decorate rocks for a special Easter and spring-themed hide at Blue Jay Point County Park in north Raleigh from April 14 to April 16. This is not a scheduled, park-planned event, but rather an informal activity where park visitors can simply hide or find the rocks when they'd like.
Roberts hopes Raleigh Rocks takes on a life of its own so she doesn't have to announce "hides" such as next week's at Blue Jay Point. Eventually, she'd like people to take off with the idea, decorating rocks, hiding them and sharing them on the Facebook page on their own.
"We have decided to post large 'hides' on Raleigh Rocks to inspire people and give them places to check out," Roberts said.
There are a couple of rules, Roberts said. The rocks can only be hidden on public property. And they shouldn't be decorated with stickers, glitter or other items that could fall off the rocks and cause litter or endanger wildlife. Roberts also is the Facebook page's administrator to ensure that the page remains friendly and family oriented.
Roberts' students have joined in the fun. At Wildwood, students can choose to paint a rock to hide and complete an artist statement about their work.
"We are hoping to grow this across the whole area of Raleigh and surrounding communities," she said. "The goal is positive community interaction with art and others."