Rocks are making a difference in Cheviot

Here at WeTHRIVE!, we believe that small changes make a big difference. As WeTHRIVE! neighborhood navigator for Cheviot, Danielle Hart believed that small painted rocks could make a big difference. She hoped they would make Cheviot a better place by building community pride and getting people outside. She was right!

“I think it took off like amazingly well,” Danielle said. “I was really very pleasantly surprised with how people just kind of took it and went with it.”

It all started last spring with rock painting at Cheviot’s Family Day. Danielle and her sons hid them around town. People started finding them, and it took off from there.

Facebook group rocks

The Cheviot OH Rocks Facebook group has grown to more than 400 members since starting in late May. We asked members to share their thoughts on the program. Here’s what they said…

Nancy Holt paints a lot of rocks and posts pictures on the Facebook page. She writes: “I love this activity!! It has gotten me off the couch and out hunting!! And seeing/talking to others who are also hunting rocks. This was an amazing idea!!”

Everyone loves finding Nancy’s beautifully painted rocks:one rock with penguin painted on, one with flower and joy painted on, one with face

Kara Rachford and her 6-year-old son, Corbin (pictured below), are big fans of the rocks. She writes: “We love finding rocks. We walk every single day and passing by one randomly is literally a blast! We paint a lot ourselves just because it’s so much fun when we find them. We want others to experience that same feeling!”

In keeping with the painted rock theme, Kara made the tic-tac-toe game pictured below. She says that painting rocks with her son is a great bonding activity.two pictures - one of young boy holding up two painted rocks, one of homemade tic-tac-toe set with painted rocksCassie Fulmer also loves hunting for the rocks. She writes that it gets her “out and about.” Her husband didn’t enjoy going rock hunting at first, but it’s turned into a competition to see who can find the most rocks.

Cheviot Elementary rocks

Kris Evers runs the Cheviot Rocks Club at Cheviot Elementary School. “We started the project at school because I saw it on Facebook and live in the neighborhood as well as teach here,” Kris said. “I loved the idea and wanted our school to get involved!”

At the beginning of the school year, teachers did a survey to see what clubs the students were most interested in joining. Kris says at least 100 students chose Cheviot Rocks as their first choice. “We will be painting rocks about the Seven Habits of a Happy Kid, the leadership skills that we teach the kids every day,” she said.

Here’s a look at what the club has been up to…collage of pictures featuring children painting rocks and holding rocks they have painted

Cheviot businesses rock

Cheviot businesses have been involved since the beginning of Cheviot Rocks. Upscale Lawncare donated buckets-full of rocks for painting. NYPD Pizza and Cone Zone sponsored prize rocks. “I have no idea how many cones Cone Zone gave out, but I would say well over a dozen, and likewise NYPD pizza,” Danielle said. “And they were really excited about doing that which is awesome.” The Cheviot Gazette did a story about Cheviot Rocks and hid their own rocks featuring the famous Cheviot sheep.three painted rocks, all with cartoon of a sheep

Are the rocks getting people outside?

You can tell from comments on the Facebook page that folks are going on walks to hide and search for rocks. Danielle has heard stories about it, too. “There were a couple of people who said, ‘We painted rocks with our grandkids, then they made me go out and hide them and I haven’t been on a walk like that in a long time,’ which is wonderful,” she said.

“The idea was that hopefully if we can get kids excited, they can drag their adults with them, and vice versa. I think it’s been very successful in doing that. And then with our other goal of community pride and engagement, I think it’s also been very successful.”

Rocks spread the word about WeTHRIVE!

With the popularity of the Cheviot Rocks Facebook group, it’s turning out to be a great way to let people know what else the Cheviot WeTHRIVE! team is working on. “It hasn’t necessarily turned up a lot of new members for our WeTHRIVE! team, but it has put the WeTHRIVE! name out there,” Danielle said. “So that’s a few hundred people who are hearing that there’s this group in Cheviot and that we’re actually doing things to make Cheviot a better place.”

Rock-painting Tips

  • Start with clean, smooth rocks.
  • Use acrylic paint (you can also use paint pens – Danielle recommends Artiqo brand).
  • Top with a clear, weather-proof sealant.
  • Don’t glue anything to the rocks.

Learn more about WeTHRIVE! in Cheviot here. Keep up with Cheviot Rocks by joining their Facebook group.