The Parker “Rocks” Facebook group began in 2017 with the purpose to connect the community and spread joy in small doses to their neighbors. “The group was created simply to spread the love and …
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The Parker “Rocks” Facebook group began in 2017 with the purpose to connect the community and spread joy in small doses to their neighbors.
“The group was created simply to spread the love and so people could post rocks they hide/find,” said Jennifer DeJesus, one of two admins of the page. “The kids and adults love to do this. And it brings smiles to the faces of those that hide the rocks and those that find them. Just spreading love and kindness when there’s so much hate in this world.”
The long stay-at-home stretch has given new life to the movement. Kids — and adults — from the South Pinery to Bradbury Hills and Cottonwood neighborhoods are leaving their own decorative rocks along local trails.
The rocks vary in size. Some say “Stay Smilin,’” “You Are Beautiful” and other positive messages. Others have more artful designs and a few camofluage like a flower, hidden in plain sight at first glance.
The rocks are on trails and in driveways, perched on mailboxes and signs, nuzzled under a tree. They are well-known to the neighbors. On a walk along the East-West Trail in the Bradbury Hills neighborhood May 16, every single one of the dozen or so people out on the trail could trace sightings in all corners of the neighborhood.
“What started out as a fun way for my boys and I to bring smiles to friends and neighbors while also social distancing, this group has brought so much joy when there’s so much negativity out there,” wrote Summer Crosbie, of Parker, on Facebook. “Seeing what designs people are into at the moment or what cool rocks others are finding is just so fun. It’s a cheap and easy craft that the entire family can be part of!”
Amy Dougherty, of Parker, commented that she looks for rocks every time she’s on a walk.
When I’m running alone and find a rock I get so excited, even as a grown woman,” Dougherty said. “Recently, I was having a pretty rough day at home with the kiddos, took myself out for a solo run and found at least three painted rocks. They brought me so much joy and completely turned my day around. It’s amazing what these small tokens of kindness can do.”
The idea is to let the rocks “hitchhike” with walkers who need company and to leave them behind for the next person. Those who leave behind their rocks include a location on the community’s Facebook page, Parker “Rocks.” The group is open to anybody who lives in or near Parker.
One woman walking by May 16 said she let a rock tag along with her to Korea and other parts of the United States because she wanted to spread the good will as far as she could.
Elizabeth Higgins posted on March 31, saying they began a scavenger hunt with different painted rocks for their kids to pass the time during stay-at-home orders.
“My kiddo has loved going on a new hunt every day and it helps her feel like she is playing with her friends on some level,” she wrote.
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