2017-08-04 / Shorts

Rocks Around the Block

Happy Valley Rocks spreads kindness one stone at a time
Maggie Anderson

From gorgeous natural landscapes to cool community events, State College is full of treasures. This summer, there are even more treasures coming to the area, although the scale is quite a bit smaller.

Happy Valley Rocks is the local outpost of a national movement to spread joy and kindness through the most unassuming of nature’s treasures: the rock. Members of the local group, which was started in the fall by Emily Smith and gained momentum in the past month, paints rocks and hides them around town.
“It’s an act of goodwill,” says Smith. “It’s getting people creating art and getting people active too. You may be inspired to go somewhere to hide one where you might not otherwise go.”

Heather Shadow and her daughter have been painting rocks since mid-June. “It’s a community-building group,” she says. “It gets the kids outside, gets adults outside — it’s pretty much all inclusive because age doesn’t matter.”

And the idea is very simple: paint a rock however you like — the group recommends acrylic paints finished with a clear sealant — and then “hide” it somewhere around town. To keep the kindness rolling, add “Happy Valley Rocks” somewhere on your creations so people can find the Facebook group and Instagram feed.

“When you find a rock, you can either take a picture and post where you found it, you can take it and keep if you love it, or you can take it and rehide it,” says Shadow. “Some people might find the rocks not knowing [about the group] and just keep it, which is fine because if it makes someone happy, it’s doing its job anyway.”

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