Rambling Rocks Takes Over Noble County

cape canaveral.JPGThe Kendallville Public Library began a Rambling Rocks project in April, and since that
time, this initiative to "Plant Joy" has grown to epic proportions - even traveling to Florida and South Carolina!

The idea is simple: paint and hide rocks throughout the community. Once rocks are painted and sealed to protect them from the weather, they are hidden...everywhere. Rocks have been located on nature trails, at downtown stores, around lakes, and even hidden on shelves in Kroger and Rural King.

Those participating are able to track which rocks are found and read clues on where other rocks are hidden by joining the library's Rambling Rocks Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/kplramblingrocks). Over the past three months, this group has grown to nearly than 550 members who have posted nearly 1800 photos of rocks that have been painted, found and hidden. How many rocks are out there? That's anyone's guess.

"It's a great family pastime that's healthy and doesn't involve electronic devices," said Shannon Allen. "We have gotten so far away from healthy family fun as a society and this provides a great alternative. We just got started and my kids are loving it."

When people who don't know about Rambling Rocks find their first rock...it's a special discovery. "The look on my little guy's face when he found his first rock...priceless!" Tammy Hamilton told the group.

"We just started the other day," said Leah Taylor. "I knew about Rambling Rocks but didn't have the time to seek them out. While at the library Tuesday, my 9 year old and I found two rocks by accident. It was like a light went off for us. Instantly we got excited and couldn't wait to hide them. Now my daughter is begging me to go looking for rocks."

People are talking about Rambling Rocks all over the community, and word is spreading fast.

"Taya came home today and told me all about how her rock MADE IT ON THE RADIO!!!," exclaimed Gabriela Farver to the group in May. "I guess someone who found it called in and told the radio all about it and she got to hear it while she was on the bus. I just thought it was the coolest thing, so I can just imagine how she feels."

Rocks are painted by everyone from children who can barely hold a brush, to adults who have some serious artistic talent. Brooke Donnelly-Grezelak has created several rock "faces," including a doppelganger version of herself. Her husband, Don, is quite the artist as well, and has painted many Pokemon, movie characters, and music-inspired art. They also create some amazing realistic-looking fruits and vegetables.

Groups like the Kendallville Day Care are involved, and the kids benefit from being creative when painting the rocks, making new discoveries by hiding them and searching for new ones.

"Working in child care, the children have really gotten into it and now their families are getting involved," said Brooke Hastings, director of Kendallville Day Care Center East. "It's CONTAGIOUS!"

The activity is continuing to spread. Up to now, a majority of the rocks have been hidden around Kendallville, Rome City and Avilla. Some have even been hidden in Mongo in LaGrange County. Now, the Noble County Public Library is making plans to join, so rocks will spread even further throughout the county.

The Kendallville Public Library also created a video to show how much fun families are having with Rambling Rocks. It can be found on the library's website at www.kendallvillelibrary.org.