Rocks Fill Newaygo County Residents With Joy
By Alexis Mercer
There is a phenomenon passing through Newaygo County and it involves, of all things, rocks.
I pulled into the bank the other day in Newaygo, rather in a rush to get my errands done with two kids in the back seat. My day immediately became a whole lot more joyful when I spotted a painted rock on top of the drive through tube.
A few weeks ago I got a recommendation to add a group on Facebook called “Rockin Newaygo County” and decided to see what it was all about. If it weren’t for that, I would have thought the rock was misplaced or I may not have paid it any attention.
Instead I knew that this rock had been painted with love and placed intentionally with care for someone else to find.
Kimberly Howland was on a family vacation when she heard about this nationwide movement to paint rocks, place them around the community and hopefully bring joy to those who found them. It brought her own family so much joy to find the rocks that she decided to bring it back to Newaygo County.
So once school got out (Kimberly works for Fremont Public Schools), she was looking for something fun to do that wouldn’t cost a lot of money. And so began #rockinNC.
Kimberly is now affectionately known by many as the “Rock Lady,” a term she finds endearing. And her Facebook group quickly grew in a month to nearly 1,400 people.
The idea is quite simple. Paint a rock (or ten) in any design. Cover it with a sealant of some kind to protect it from the elements. Go out into Newaygo County somewhere and place the rock in a place you think it could be found. Then go search for other rocks. You can choose to re-hide those you find or keep them if you like, but make sure you post a picture of the rocks you find on the Facebook page!
“I love being able to go out and hunt with my kids to find ones we didn't paint ourselves. Our parks are getting more use, and people are picking up trash when they find it so it isn't confused for a rock, and I'm really proud of that. My goal was to put Newaygo County on the map for something positive and it’s working,” said Kimberly of the whole project.
Just remember to follow the rules so that everyone can enjoy the fun in a positive way. The rules are posted below directly from the Rockin Newaygo County page itself.
So if you are driving through the bank with forty items on your to-do list and you come across a painted rock, take a minute to slow down, smile, and enjoy the movement that is sweeping Newaygo County.
Rules for Rockin Rocks:
1. If you find a rock, you may keep it, or hide it again, but take a picture and post it here and show us you found it! Please keep in mind that there arts over 1100 members out hunting for rocks. Please keep it fair and keep your finds to a minimum, and replace or rehide asap.
2. If you re-hide it, make sure it's visible, don't hide it in or under something, and make sure it's someplace easy to get to, safe, and not in a place(inside a building) where it could be considered a nuisance. Do not hide in Any area that needs to be mowed or maintained by equipment.
IT CANNOT BE HIDDEN INSIDE A BUILDING, BURIED, OR INSIDE ANYTHING.
3. If you paint your own to hide, remember the following:
Keep it family friendly
IT MUST BE SEALED WITH A CLEAR COAT OF SOME KIND. GLUE WILL NOT WORK!
Please no advertisements
Make sure it says "rockin Newaygo County on facebook" or #rockinNC
Keep it fun, safe, and involve the whole family!
DUE TO UNHAPPY CIRCUMSTANCES, ADDED PEOPLE WILL NO LONGER BE APPROVED. ALL MEMBERS MUST ASK TO JOIN THEMSELVES.
ANY NEGATIVE POSTS OR COMMENTS OF ANY KIND WILL BE DELETED AND RESULT IN REMOVAL FROM THE GROUP.
Happy hunting and happy hiding!
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