Colorful rock outdoor craze spreading through Yorkville

By Erika Wurst for Chronicle Media

A new scavenger-hunt type craze is taking hold in Kendall County communities. People are finding and looking out for painted rocks along parks and trails. “Rock” groups have been created. (Photo courtesy of Yorkville Rock Facebook)

Keep your eyes peeled, Yorkville.

Spring has sprung, and with that, hundreds of colorfully-painted rocks have made their way into parks, onto trails and outside shopping centers throughout the city.

The concept is easy: You find the rock, upload a photo of the rock and its location onto the Yorkville Rocks Facebook group, then re-hide for others to enjoy.

Visitors to the page can then track the rocks to see where they’ve been, where they’re going, and who they are making smile.

“Rock” groups have been created throughout Yorkville, Oswego, Plano and Kendall County, and they are gaining momentum.

Last May, Yorkville mother Julie Filian created the Yorkville, Oswego and Kendall County Rock Facebook groups to bring her love of rock painting to the masses. The hobby began when she lived in Florida where the weather made rock hunting and hiding a year-round activity.

When she moved back to Yorkville, Filian figured she’d bring the concept to her hometown.

“I didn’t know if it would take-off here or not,” she said. “But we figured we would try.”

Over the course of a year, Filian has decorated and hidden more than a hundred rocks with her children. Hundreds of others have joined the group and also taken on the task of creating their own works of art to place around the city.

Filian encourages others to hide their rocks at all local Yorkville parks and walking paths. She’s also placed rocks outside Aldi, the dollar store, and other frequented establishments.

“I really don’t try to hide them, hide them,” Filian said. “I just try to keep them at a kid’s eye-level for them to spot.”

Kids and adults of all ages enjoy the surprise of running into the colorful creations. Some boast story book characters or inspiring phrases. Others feature hand-drawn flowers, patterns and designs.

Drawings can be made with washable paint, followed by a clear lacquer sealer that can be purchased at Walmart, Filian said. Others have used Sharpie markers, nail polish, puffy paint or temporary tattoos to create their rock designs.

The painted rock hunt is a fairly new activity that residents of all ages can have fun with, says Yorkville mother Julie Filian who created the Yorkville, Oswego and Kendall County Rock Facebook groups. (Photo courtesy of Yorkville Rock Facebook)

“I love that this is bringing people outdoors to do something fun. They’re not just sitting in their houses,” Filian said. “It’s a relatively inexpensive hobby and one that parents or grandparents can do with their kids. It doesn’t require any talent, so it’s a win-win.”

Last year, Filian teamed up with the Plano Rocks group to host a rock-painting event which drew a crowd of more than 150 people. She plans to put on something similar again this year.

Her hope is that Yorkville and Kendall County residents embrace the activity and that rocks will be placed abundantly at parks and trails throughout the county.

On the Yorkville Rocks Facebook page, that already seems to be happening, and some rocks have found their way across the country.

Filian’s neighbor took her children to Florida over spring break where they hid rocks boasting the Yorkville Rocks Facebook group name. Those rocks have since been found and shared on the local page by the Florida native who stumbled upon them.

“Gotta admit, wasn’t quite sure where Yorkville was before I searched for this group,” the finder posted. “Very cool to find a rock that has travelled so far.”

Hop on over the the Yorkville Rocks page to see some of the gems currently hidden around the city, or upload photos and locations of ones you plan on hiding yourself.

Yorkville Rocks:

Oswego Illinois Rocks:




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