PITTSBURG — A painted little rock was placed in the groove of a tree trunk at Lakeside Park — this is one of many colorful rocks strategically placed around town.
The rocks have been placed in various places in town this past month — including the local parks, the museum and Pittsburg Public Library.
Pittsburg Resident Whitney Rogers was at Lakeside Park with her two children, nine-year-old Grace Rogers and 11-year-old Noah Rogers and their friends, 10-year-old Addy Myers, and nine-year-old Leah Caskey, hiding rocks they painted.
“It gets us out and around town,” she said. “Out to the Veterans Memorial, Library and the museum.
“It is nice to get kids out to see places.”
Myers said after painting the rocks, she hid them and looked for posts on Facebook of people who found her rocks.
“It is really fun to do in the summertime!” she said.
The children showed off their rocks. Grace Rogers made a sun on her rock and Myers made an ice cream cone on hers and Caskey’s has the words “rock” on it with a star.
Noah Rogers, showed off his arrowhead shaped rock painted with the Kansas City Chiefs logo.
The rock painting and hiding started when George Nettels Second Grade Teacher Michelle Harrison came back to Pittsburg after a visit to Destin, Florida, where she came across a painted rock.
“I looked at the rock and put it back down,” she said. “I was curious and so I picked it up again and on the back I noticed it had a Facebook page on the back of it.”
She decided it would be fun to start a rock hiding and finding Facebook page for the Pittsburg community called “Pittsburg Rocks.”
“I thought it would be fun,” she said. “I’m a teacher and I have two girls at home — it gives us something to do together in the summer.
“It has been fun to paint rocks and go around town and hide them. What is even more fun is to see people who have found our rocks.”
To jumpstart the “hide and seek”-like hobby Harrison hosted a rock painting event where families came to her and her husband’s business, In the Garden, to paint rocks and hide them.
Whenever people find a rock they are to take a photograph of it and share it to the Facebook page.
“I encourage people to put pictures on the Facebook page so people can see their rocks being found,” Harrison said.
In a short summer month of painting and hiding rocks, the Facebook group had almost 600 people in it on Sunday and Monday by noon it had over 700 group members.
“We had no clue we would have almost 600 people in the group!” Harrison said.
The trend of painting and hiding rocks appears to be statewide, as Harrison and her family has found three more rocks on her vacation in Oregon. She and her family posted their findings to the Oregon Facebook page.
“It has been fun spreading kindness, joy and getting exercise,” Harrison said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.