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Sewickley Rocks project aims to for positive impact on community

| Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, 1:15 p.m.
Participants looking to design rocks can pick them up at Explore Sewickley, 418 Beaver St.
Participants looking to design rocks can pick them up at Explore Sewickley, 418 Beaver St.

The Kindness Rocks project that has turned parks, backyards, neighborhoods and forests into colorfully dotted landscapes has made its way to the Sewickley area thanks to several creative minds.

Explore Sewickley, the Sewickley Area Mom's Club, and Anne Batyko collaborated to create Sewickley Rocks, an idea that spun off after Batyko read an article about the Kindness Rocks. The colorfully painted rocks, sometimes emblazoned with quotes or inspirational words, are hidden throughout the community.

“The idea is that if you find a rock, you can either hide it again or keep it. If you keep it, you make your own rocks then to hide,” Batyko said.

Batyko made rocks and hid them initially, but after the community began discovering them, they added their own as well, she said.

Batyko liked the idea of Kindness Rocks, but wanted to give it a localized theme. A Sewickley Rocks page on Facebook showcases themes and lets people share local rocks they've found.

When a rock is hidden or found, a picture of that rock is posted, letting people know their rocks have been found or that there are new ones awaiting discovery.

“I'm hoping Sewickley Rocks will have a positive impact on the community,” Batyko said. “Anyone can partake — it doesn't matter what your age or art skills are. These painted rocks have been making people's days. Hopefully, whoever finds one gets a smile on his or her face.”

To showcase the finds, Explore Sewickley has been using social media to promote it, including the use of a hashtag: #sewickleyrocks.

Alex Lancianese of Explore Sewickley was among those on the initial project committee with Batyko.

“People just paint them and leave them. It's a feel good activity anyone can do, whether it's kids or elderly people in nursing homes. You leave it around town and make someone smile,” Lancianese said.

Lancianese, like Batyko, emphasized the importance of being creative and having a fun, positive impact over trying to create a masterpiece.

Rocks are in the lobby of Explore Sewickley for community members who would want to create and hide them.

Rebecca L. Ferraro is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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