A popular community activity, painting and hiding rocks, is starting to take off in Ponoka.
A “Ponoka Rockz” Facebook group was started on June 26, 2019 and had 149 members as of July 11, 2019.
On the page, administrator Callyanne Weyts says she started the page after finding a painted rock belonging to the Lacombe Facebook page.
“When my son found his painted rock in Lacombe, it was on a day we needed it,” said Weyts.
“We needed that little gesture to brighten our day and that’s exactly what it did — it absolutely brightened our day.
“That is what I really hope comes from this in Ponoka. In today’s world, with all the negativity, I think we are all searching for a little more happiness,” she said.
“I hope that people who are painting and hiding these rocks, keep that in mind; keep in mind the joy they are bringing to the person who finds it and if they keep that in mind I hope that will be enough to keep this going.”
The idea is to paint a rock and write “Ponoka Rockz FB page. Keep or rehide,” on the back, or just enjoy finding and rehiding them. If you find a rock, you can take a picture of it and post in on the Facebook page, saying where it was found.
Weyts says painted rocks has really taken off in some communities so she hopes it will in Ponoka as well.
“The community seems to be onboard for this.”
Chandra Kolibaba is a member of the group and recently posted a photo of a rock her and her daughter Elara, two-and-a-half-years-old, found outside Torch and Teal on Chipman Ave.
“We are loving the group,” said Kolibaba, adding that she recently went out hunting for rocks to paint with her daughter.
“I think it’s a great way for families to spend time being creative and to spend time outside hunting. Everyone can use a bit more whimsy in their lives.”
Originally called “The Kindness Rock Project,” the trend of painting and hiding rocks for others to find is thought to have started in the U.S. and spread to other countries.
The rocks are typically painted by both children and adults and sometimes feature cartoon characters, cheerful images or sometimes an inspirational message. The rocks can be linked to a Facebook group just for fun, or sometimes are used to promote charities or raise awareness for causes.
The rocks can travel far, with people taking them on their vacations to hide, winding up on the other side of the world, which can be a thrill to the painter when they see it posted on Facebook.
Weyts recommends using acrylic paint, permanent markers or paint pents and some sort of sealant once the rock has been completed to prevent the artwork from running or fading in the weather.
Rock painting hobbyists recommend using a sealant of some kind and acrylic paint to ensure the paint job is protected. Many rock painting DIY tips can be found by searching the topic on the Internet.