Residents ‘rock’ the Wabash Valley with messages of positivity

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Over the last few years people have noticed brightly painted rocks appearing all over the community.

The rocks are painted with positive messages and colorful cartoons, and each artist has their own reason for hiding them.

RACHEL COOLEY: “I first started when I found some pebbles and I was like, you know what I haven’t done since I was a kid? I haven’t painted rocks in a really long time,” said rock artist Rachel Cooley

The rock painting phenomenon caught traction in the community, and in May of 2017 a Facebook group was created called, ‘Terre Haute Rocks’.

With over 2,000 members, the page acts as a creative space where members can share their inspiration and their latest finds.

“I know that when somebody finds them, it’s gonna be very special to them,” explained rock artist Rebekah Dickey. “Because you know they can tell that somebody put like love and effort into this rock.”

‘Terre Haute Rocks’ has since inspired others to create rock hubs of their own.

Reverend Teresa Higus, of the St. Mark United Church of Christ on Fruitridge Avenue, started her kindness garden last year and is happy to see people enjoying the space.

“They will stop and they’ll look at the rocks. They’ll look at the books in the little free library. They might take one, exchange one,” she said. “Or they might just sit on the bench and rest for a while in the shade before they go on home or go on their way to the park.”

Many members of the Facebook group say painting rocks is therapeutic.

“It feels very peaceful,” said Dickey. “And it’s kind of like I go into this space that’s all mine and I don’t have to think about anything negative.”

This creative movement is seen as an act of kindness by many as they take the time to spread positivity.

“If you turn on the news there are so many negative things. And there are so many negative attitudes,” explained Cooley. “But this is something so simple and it’s so positive. It brings people together.”

Engaging in the movement is simple, find some rocks, gather some paint and hide your creations where ever you see fit.

If you would like to join the ‘Terre Haute Rocks’ Facebook group click this link.

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