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Community rock painting project unites Richmond

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 1:40 PDT, Fri April 24, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Richmond mom Karina Reid was in search of an element of creativity in her life.

Through the Steveston Rocks Facebook group, which Reid started in February, she’s found not only a way to manage stress but also to spread love and kindness.

After being inspired by a friend in Victoria, Reid started painting rocks with her kids and hiding them around the community. Reid has since grown her family project into a Facebook community with over 500 members. There are instructions in the group for people who want to paint and hide rocks, or for people who find rocks in the community. 

Due to COVID-19, Reid is encouraging group members to continue painting rocks, but share photos online only—rather than hiding in community locations as usual. She anticipates a large launch party for all the rocks painted during this period of quarantine. Since starting the project in February, Reid and her kids have painted over 700 rocks. 

People who want to leave rocks in community locations—including libraries, schools and community centres—are encouraged to follow some precautions. Rocks should be left in one secure location, outside a front door, and wiped to disinfect the surface.

Reid says her rocks are a great way to bring communities together. Recently, a rock garden was created at Westwind elementary. She and her kids also left rocks outside the Richmond RCMP headquarters following last weekend’s tragic shooting in Nova Scotia.

And after hearing about cases of COVID-19 at Austin Harris Residence, an assisted living facility for seniors in Steveston, Reid delivered rocks there too.

“As things progressed with the COVID-19 crisis, I realized we all needed a way to connect and share our own grief, stress and anxiety,” she says.

“Together as a community, we can make a difference.”

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