by Emily Rotthaler–Since 2018 the project “Siouxland Rocks” has been spreading an extra ounce of kindness and positivity in Siouxland – in the form of artistically designed rocks. Coming in all kinds of sizes, shapes and colors the rocks have caught the eyes of hundreds of Siouxlanders.
These specially designed rocks feature paintings, messages, or sayings. Once they are finished, the little pieces of art are then hidden in public places all around the Siouxland area to be discovered by unsuspecting passersby.
Those who find a rock are encouraged to post a picture to the project’s Facebook page siouxlandrocks.com and to either keep or re-hide the rock for the next person.
“Siouxland Rocks” founder Beth Ann Hodgen said the purpose of the project is to promote kindness one rock at a time. “We all fight battles, we all struggle, some more, some less, but if at least one of our rocks, one of our events, can put a smile on a struggling face then our goal is accomplished.”
“Siouxland Rocks” is the local adaptation of the worldwide “Kindness Rocks Project.” Hodgen started the local branch in May 2018 when her daughter found a painted rock at Browns Lake in Salix, Iowa.
Since then a lot has happened in and around the project. “Prior to Covid we held monthly make and take events at the Sioux City Public Museum,” Hodgen said. She added, they partnered with local groups like “Support Siouxland Soldiers” and “Sioux City Parks and Recreation” to make the events free to the public.
Hodgen said participating is easy. “Just grab a rock, paint, draw, sketch an image or word or saying on the rock, seal with some outdoor sealer and hide your creation [in a public place] where someone will find it.”
Anyone can participate in the project. The official Facebook group of Siouxland Rocks has more than 2,000 members who share their creations and post pictures of the rocks they find.
Morningside Sophomore Madelynn Stoffle thinks the project is “a very cool community interaction” and said she would definitely want to participate. “I am a resident assistant at Morningside College and actually hope to be able to do this as a hall function next year. [It would make] for a very interesting event for residents!”
For those who want to find some inspiration for their own rocks it is worth checking out the “Siouxland Rocks” Facebook page as some of the rocks are posted there.