Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Movement aims to spread inspiration locally

Rocks have randomly been popping up all over Andalusia painted with colorful pictures and inspirational quotes.

Andalusia is now one of the many cities across the country taking part in the Kindness Rock Project. The Kindness Rock Project, according to the project’s website, was initially created to spread inspiration and motivation through inspirational rocks dropped around at random locations.

Forrest and Edy Hobson are among the young rock hunters in Andalusia this week.

Rocks have been spotted in places like churches, the post office, parks, water fountains, at the bottom of light poles, hospital elevators and everywhere in between. There have even been rocks from places like Pensacola found in Andalusia.

Andalusia native Ashton Owens and her friend Shelly Wagoner decided to start the Facebook group responsible, Andalusia Rocks, in an effort to spread positivity throughout the city.

“We want to bring families and the community together, and to bring a little hope and joy to everyone,” Owens said.

Some of the quotes that have been spotted on rocks include things as simple as “you are my sunshine,” “love life,” “be happy” and “hope.”

Getting started and being a part of Andalusia Rocks is an easy endeavor, Owens said.

“It’s simple to get involved. Paint rocks, which you can find in your yard or buy in a store, and go out and hide them,” Owens said. “While hiding them, be on the lookout for other rocks. There is a large Facebook community where people share pictures of them painting, finding and hiding the rocks, too.”

Owens said that positivity is a big part of why she wanted to start Andalusia Rocks.

“Andalusia Rocks is an effort to get families and friends to get out of the house and to fellowship with each other,” she said. “It gives people topics to talk about that aren’t negative. It’s like a county-wide scavenger hunt.”

Andalusia Rocks already has more than 1,000 members on Facebook with dozens of members sharing pictures of the rocks they have hidden and found.

“It’s amazing how such a simple act of kindness can bring so many together,” Owens said.

Owens also emphasized that Andalusia Rocks isn’t just for Andalusia but all of Covington County.

“When I created the group I couldn’t think of anything catchy for Covington County. So, I just called it ‘Andalusia Rocks,’ ” she said. “This isn’t just for people in Andalusia. It’s for the entire county.”

Owens feels that Andalusia Rocks could unify many in the community over something simple, yet positive.

“It could potentially unify thousands of people over something that isn’t so negative,” she said. “It’s also meant to inspire creativity in all ages and have people explore the beautiful places we live in.”

Andalusia Rocks can be found at with dozens of pictures and stories of rocks hidden around Covington County.