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Hidden Rocks Spread Messages of Joy and Kindness in Northern Kentucky

What's up with these hidden rocks and their positive messages?
 
"There is so much negativity in the world," said Becky Shelton, director of operations at the Skyline Chili in Taylor Mill. "We need more positivity."
 
Spreading joy and positivity is the goal of NKY Hidden Rocks, a Facebook-based group that boasts more than 6,400 members.
 
"We are joining a movement to spread joy and inspiration through painting and hiding rocks around the country and around the world," the group says on its Facebook group page. "This is a community-building group to spread positivity and inspire creativity in all ages, and energize people to explore the beauty of the area in which we live."
 
The creator of the page is Jo Price Craven. The former teacher and principal saw a national news story on the subject back in February and wondered if it could catch on here. Her children are grown, but she instinctively saw merit in the family activity and in the goal of countering negativity by spreading joy and kindness. So she started the Facebook page where she tells what the effort is all about, and set it loose in Walton.  
 
It quickly took off from there and little rocks with painted messages of love for others to find are being spotted all over the region.
 
"The goal is to get lots of people to join all across our community so there are lots of rocks to find," Craven said. "I think this could go on for several years."
 
Several businesses have held rock painting parties, including Angilo's Pizza, Jane's Saddlebag, and Verona Vineyard, and the Kenton County Library in Covington is scheduled to have a rock painting party on Saturday.
 
Craven said she has had a painting party at the Boone County Library in Burlington, and was recently on TV with the Kenton County Library. 
 
Children flocked to Trifecta in Taylor Mill on Monday to paint rocks for hiding. Rocks (donated by Stone Center of Walton), paint, brushes, and a fixative to preserve the images on the rocks were all provided.
 
Some of the kids like their artwork so much that they intend to keep the positive messages for themselves.
 
"I actually will probably keep mine," said Ethan Tetzel, 10, of Independence, whose original goal was to paint a cheese coney. His sister Ellie painted a beautiful rainbow. Their mother was aware of the trend after seeing it on Facebook.
 
Michelle Meiners, of Taylor Mill, also became aware of the hidden rocks initiative last April after seeing it on Craven's Facebook page.
 
"My son Bradley found one at Turfway Park and he kept it because it was so intricate," she said. "It was a picture of Yoshi, from Mario Brothers. So, we painted some other rocks and hid them."
 
Her husband, Craig, is a letter carrier and has found a hidden rock - painted to look like a piece of mail, under a mailbox.
 
The party at Trifecta drew a good crowd, and everyone was able to paint a rock, and enjoy a pack of Pop Rocks candy.
 
Meanwhile, the hidden rocks continue to be found across the globe. A family from Alaska recently found a hidden rock in Idlewild Park in Burlington and took it back to their home state to hide it again.
 
Labels are usually affixed to the rocks encouraging the finders to re-hide them - or to create a new one for hiding.
 
Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Hidden rocks reflect local brands found in Taylor Mill's Trifecta