If you see people walking around the streets of Woodland with their heads down they aren’t being rude, they are likely looking for a Yolo Rocks. Hidden in the nooks and crannies of business doorways, signs, along walk ways and in parks, painted rocks have found a way to make people smile with joy.
I found my first Yolo Rocks last week and I was more thrilled than I could believe. It was tucked in the door way of the Woodland Opera House. As I was leaving I was making sure the door was secure and I happened to look down and there it was. I promptly took a picture (because that’s what you’re suppose to do!) and posted it on the Yolo Rocks Facebook page. I then hid it somewhere else. Which by the way, I was near the location I hid the rock and it was there and a man was standing right next to it! It made me laugh 🙂
Billi Henderson began this fun adventure just three months ago. Here is her story…
How did Yolo Rocks begin?
I first heard about it while visiting family in Venice, Florida. While my mother-in-law and I were walking into a store I noticed a rock with a smiley face painted on it. I picked it up and my mother-in-law said, “Oh you found a Venice Rock!”. I had never heard of this before. Turns out there is a Facebook page where you post a picture of the rock you found and then hide the rock somewhere else. I was surprised how finding a little rock made me smile!
My mother-in-law suggested I bring the rock home with me and so I did. I actually hid the rock in Woodland and posted on the Venice Rock’s Facebook Page.
How did you get the word out in our area about what you did?
When I hid that first rock I shared the story with a friend who thought her kids would enjoy painting rocks. She posted on Good Neighbors of Woodland’s Facebook page about the idea and asked if anyone would be interested in painting rocks and hiding them. The response was overwhelming. Some had heard of it already and many were wanting to participate. So, I started the page Yolo Rocks and our first official rocks were placed at the end of July. A group of 10 of us started in Woodland, beginning around the Opera House and then down Main Street to the Library.
How has it grown since those first few rocks?
Now we’re estimating thousands of rocks throughout Yolo County. The Facebook page has over 2000 followers and it’s just amazing. The rocks I’ve painted look horrible! But now we have artists who have created these amazing rocks. I had originally started the group as Woodland Rocks but as more people from outside of Woodland joined the page I changed it to Yolo Rocks. You’ll find rocks in Winters, Davis, and all over Yolo County.
Why do you think finding a rock brings a person so much joy?
I did some research on how this all started. There is a thing called a Kindness Rock Project, started by a woman who says, “One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire life.” Some of the rocks I’ve done, I wrote a single words like ‘love’ and ‘hope’ with a pink ribbon. A woman found the hope rock and posted that she had been battling breast cancer and that the rock gave her the hope she needed. I thought about how true it is that a simple rock can change someones day, or event their life.
I know several people who have placed rocks around the Woodland Hospital & Clinic with that hope in mind. So, I think anything we can do right now to bring something positive to the world is worth doing.
Did you ever think your Venice rock would grow to this extend?
NO! I really thought just friends would do this and it would be something fun to do with the kids. I’ve read posts where parents are saying even their teenagers are wanting to participate, which is great.
Follow Yolo Rocks HERE. Make sure to post your finds on the page so artists know when their rock has been found.