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Posted 10/24/2017

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By Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office


SAVANNAH, Ga. – If you haven’t been living under one, you may have noticed some brightly colored rocks around your town lately.

The rocks are part of a recent phenomenon in many cities with a common goal: Brightening another person’s day through small painted, randomly placed rocks.

Individuals paint small rocks with inspirational messages, vibrant colors and characters in hopes that someone else will find them and have a positive experience.

Those who find the rocks share photos on social media and sometimes transport them to different locations, which can bring joy to the person who originally painted the rock when they see how far the rock has traveled.

Thurmond Lake recently joined the movement last month when volunteers painted rocks as part of National Public Lands Day, Sept. 30. Thurmond’s rocks have an added element, though, which draws attention to water safety.

The rocks are being placed in public spaces including the visitor center, day use areas and campgrounds. Visitors are encouraged to take photos with the rocks and post on social media (#ThurmondRocks) or even add their own colorful rocks to the mix.

“The rocks kind of travel around,” said Heather Killips, park ranger at J. Strom Thurmond Project. “They might start at one location on the lake but end up at a different location in one of our many campgrounds, day-use areas, boat ramps or the Thurmond Lake Visitor Center.”

Killips said about 50 rocks are being placed in phases of 10, with more to come later.

“We want to remind people in a fun way to think about water safety as they’re enjoying the great outdoors,” Killips said.

If you’re still a skeptic about this trend’s popularity like I was, type in your city’s name + rocks in the Facebook search bar and you’ll be surprised how many groups have formed in cities around the country. (For instance, Augusta Rocks has 21,000+ members, while “Painted Rocks Savannah, Ga.” has nearly 1,500.)

For more background on this trend, check out these articles:
How it all began (video)
Why you see painted rocks everywhere

And don’t forget to share your finds with us! On Facebook & Twitter, use @SavannahCorps.

Painted Rocks SavannahCorps Thurmond Lake Thurmond Rocks USACE