A group in Reedsburg formed earlier this year continues to promote positive messages written on rocks.
Reedsburg Rocks began in July and quickly grew from 60 people in a couple of days to more than 1,000 people, something Founder and Administrator Sarah Hill wasn’t expecting.
“We grew so fast kids we were having a hard time finding rocks,” Hill said. “I had some other people that came onto the group and they started mass quantities of painting rocks.”
Hill, who is also the owner of Blue Cherry Art Gallery and Studio in Reedsburg, was hosting rock painting classes when she was approached by community members with the idea to start a kindness rock project to help spread positivity and kindness in the area. Hill started hiding rocks in Webb and Nishan parks and in some area businesses.
Soon after, the concept of finding a rock with a positive message quickly caught on.
Reedsburg Rocks is very similar to Baraboo Rocks in Baraboo and stemmed from The Kindness Rocks Project. Hill said the project provides a way for people to do something active and bring the arts into the area.
“Painting is a way to relieve stress,” Hill said. “That’s one of the reasons I have the gallery here. I can work with all different mediums and art is a way to relieve that.”
There are some rules for those in the group who hide rocks: like obtaining permission from a business to hide the rocks in their facility and keeping rocks out of grass and private property. Other than those regulations, Hill said to expect to see a rock anywhere within Reedsburg.
“Sometimes they are up on a sign,” she said. “Sometimes they will be up on a ledge somewhere.”
Anyone who finds a rock can choose to re-hide the rock, keep it and paint another rock in its place or leave it at the spot it was found. The group has a label on the back of their rocks with the groups information and social media link to encourage those who find rocks to post it to the groups Facebook page.
“We try to get people to take pictures of ‘hey we found this rock’ or ‘this is where we found it at,’” Hill said.
Hill has heard positive remarks from the community about the rock program in terms of getting people and families outside looking for rocks. Hill’s daughter Gretchen, 11, helps paint and design the rocks; she’s found some of the rocks herself when walking around Reedsburg with her friends. She said those out rock hunting have to look at a right angle to find them.
“It’s pretty cool. There is a lot of people that just love it,” Gretchen Hill said. “I’ve made rocks with lots of different patterns and did one that has a tree and I bedazzled it with sparkles.”
Sarah Hill even found a rock herself one morning when she was having a bad day and said it brightened her day.
“Just that simple little rock brought a tear to my eye,” Sarah Hill said.