In this day and age when – more and more – it seems that people are ready to pick up verbal stones to throw at each other, two young women in Roselle Park are doing their best to have people pick up stones to share them with one another.
Borough residents and Roselle Park High School Class of 2015 graduates Katie Jenkins and Victoria Konczynski saw a news story on rocks being painted throughout northeast Ohio to spread positivity. The rocks would be hand-painted with a drawing or words of inspiration then hidden throughout the area to have others discover them. In turn, those who found these rocks of art would then be encouraged to make designs of their own and leave them for more people to find.
This inspired them to do something similar in their hometown. To be sure there are other such rock groups in surrounding communities but the Rutgers students wanted to create their own community-building group to brighten people’s day. So was born Roselle Park “Rocks”!
Victoria designed eight rocks and Katie made five. Then on May 1st, they took their batch of 13 and placed them around the borough: in parks, along pathways, by businesses, on benches. Then they started their Facebook page for their project of love. They called upon – to use a cliché – children of all ages to not only find but also design their own stones. There was no committee, no waiting for just the right moment, no mulling it over, just a list of a few do’s and don’ts then they just went ahead and did it.
In less than a week it was a topic of a municipal meeting. Mayor Carl Hokanson mentioned the project during his report. Now, almost two weeks later, the Facebook page has almost 200 members and an ever-growing photo gallery of works of art found and replaced.
Victoria and Katie even set guidelines and tips on their Facebook page. They ask those who take part to buy rocks instead of taking them since doing so will disrupt the ecosystem and they even give advice on what type of paint to get.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Katie when reached by phone with Victoria.
Victoria added, “I’m happy that people are contributing to this and starting to paint their own rocks. It’s not just Katie and me, the town getting involved.”
Both women would like to see it continue to grow in Roselle Park and spread more throughout Union County and connect with other groups. Maybe one day somewhere in another continent might find a smile on a rock from Roselle Park.
“I just want people to have fun painting what’s on your mind, what’s in your heart,” Katie said.
So when you take a walk around town later, take an extra look to find the beauty that might be all around you, and maybe help the positivity grow.
More information can be found on the Roselle Park “Rocks”! Facebook page (link).