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With #RockAroundSLO, Parks and Rec hopes to give people a surprise pick-me-up

The city of San Luis Obispo’s Parks and Recreation Department is promoting #RockAroundSLO, a social media campaign that encourages people to paint rocks and put them in local parks.
The city of San Luis Obispo’s Parks and Recreation Department is promoting #RockAroundSLO, a social media campaign that encourages people to paint rocks and put them in local parks.

The city of San Luis Obispo’s Parks and Recreation Department wants to get people out and sharing random acts of kindness through a new art-in-nature initiative.

On Wednesday, the department kicked off #RockAroundSLO, a social media campaign that encourages residents to decorate small rocks and leave them in city parks. According to the department’s official announcement, the goal is to have fun, explore the community and bring people joy.

Here’s how it works: Find a rock you like, paint it, and put it in a San Luis Obispo park. You can either take a rock from one of the parks to decorate or add your own. If you see a painted rock, or want to show off your own creation, you can take a picture, post it to social media and use the hashtag #RockAroundSLO to share it with the community.

And if you find a painted rock that really makes your day, it’s OK to keep it. Just replace it with one you’ve painted.

Sahvanna Ettestad, the administration and communications specialist for the department, said the campaign was inspired by a story in a parks and recreation magazine. The story told of a family who started painting and leaving rocks around their town in honor of two daughters who had died.

To kickstart the program, Ettestad said the department painted their own rocks and dropped them off in SLO parks on Tuesday. She added that as long as the parks aren’t vandalized, there’s no end date to the campaign.

“We just want to make the community a fun place to live,” Ettestad said. “It’s a good way to get people out in our local parks.”

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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