Maybe you’ve spotted them – tiny, colorful works of rock art tucked away on a nature trail or a Huntsville park. But where do these little rocks come from, and who’s behind this community-wide project to hide them all over the city? And are you allowed to take them? We learned more about Rocket City Rock Stars, a rockin’ new group that is determined to help spread joy in Huntsville.
What Is It and How Does It Work?
Let’s Rock Huntsville is a closed Facebook Group that coordinates efforts to spread a little “rock art” all around the community. Think of it as a year-round egg hunt of sorts.
It’s pretty simple to participate – take some landscaping rocks, paint them in bright colors and designs, weatherproof them, then find fun places where they will be found. The idea is for people who find the rocks to repost them to the Facebook group, create their own, and release them back into the wild to be found again. (Much like the “Where’s George?” dollar bill tracker.)
The idea was started in Huntsville by Michelle Clements, a Florida native who recently moved to North Alabama. Her family first got involved in her hometown and she thought it would be a great way to explore Huntsville. “I had been looking for a creative outlet and an excuse to get out and explore the area since I’m not from here and this was a perfect way to do both!”
But what’s the point? It’s fun, and it makes people happy.
“My hope is to brighten people’s day. Whether it’s kids or adults, just bring a little joy to them through an unexpected little surprise. It’s a pretty inexpensive project, or even free if you choose to just hunt the rocks and re-hide them. With enough people participating it can open up a really cheap, but fun, new activity for kids and adults alike. I hope that people have a lot of fun getting creative with their rocks and that it gets them excited about going out and exploring different areas of the community.”
Kids will love painting and hiding rocks as well as hunting for them. Many parents have found it’s a fun project to do together and that painting rocks is a great way for adults to relax and destress. You’re flexing your artistic muscles AND getting outside for fresh air when you “hide” your rocks.
FAQ About Rocket City Rocks
For kids and parents who want to get involved, Michelle has a few tips. We also asked her some basic questions.
What are the steps to creating rocks? What’s the best materials to use and where do you find them?
I get bags of rocks at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They have various sizes. I use acrylic paint and paint markers. Acrylics dry pretty quickly so they are a good choice. After painting, I use a UV resistant clear spray sealant to protect them from the elements.
You can get ideas for your designs online at places like Pinterest or other crafty sites.
People are encouraged to get together in groups for painting parties to make this even more fun! Girl Scout activity? Birthday party activity? BBQ? Child care activity? Adults and a bottle of wine? The possibilities are vast.
Where should people place the rocks they create?
Pretty much anywhere! Parks, greenways, hiking trails, outside libraries, schools, shopping plazas. Wherever you think they might bring a little joy to someone.
Please be careful where you hide your rocks so that they don’t cause any damage to property (i.e. Don’t hide in the grass where it can damage a lawn mower or hurt someone). Don’t steal rocks from private property or from someone’s landscaping. Don’t trespass. Just use basic manners and common sense when in doubt!
How do you check to see if your rock is found? What should you do if you find a rock yourself?
We try to tag the backs of our rocks so that our Facebook group can be found and then they can be posted there. If you find a rock you can keep it or re-hide it. If you choose to keep a rock it’s our hope that you will create some of your own to put out for others, but that is completely optional.
What’s your favorite rock that you created?
One of my favorite rock creations was a little retro camper. I love those, so putting it on a rock was a lot of fun.
So what are you waiting for? An inexpensive art project you can do with your kids that also encourages you to get outside and spread joy – what more could you ask for?
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Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.