Thurmond Lake’s pet (rock) project

A volunteer paints a “safety rock” as part of Thurmond Lake’s National Public Lands Day event, Sept. 30. The rocks are being placed around Thurmond’s public areas for visitors to find and share on social media.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – If you haven’t been living under one, you may have noticed some brightly colored rocks around your town lately.

The rocks are part of a recent phenomenon in many cities with a common goal: Brightening another person’s day through small painted, randomly placed rocks.

Individuals paint small rocks with inspirational messages, vibrant colors and characters in hopes that someone else will find them and have a positive experience.

Those who find the rocks share photos on social media and sometimes transport them to different locations, which can bring joy to the person who originally painted the rock when they see how far the rock has traveled.

Thurmond Lake recently joined the movement last month when volunteers painted rocks as part of National Public Lands Day, Sept. 30. Thurmond’s rocks have an added element, though, which draws attention to water safety.

The rocks are being placed in public spaces including the visitor center, day use areas and campgrounds. Visitors are encouraged to take photos with the rocks and post on social media (#ThurmondRocks) or even add their own colorful rocks to the mix.

“The rocks kind of travel around,” said Heather Killips, park ranger at J. Strom Thurmond Project. “They might start at one location on the lake but end up at a different location in one of our many campgrounds, day-use areas, boat ramps or the Thurmond Lake Visitor Center.”

Killips said about 50 rocks are being placed in phases of 10 at a time, with more to come later.

“We want to remind people in a fun way to think about water safety as they’re enjoying the great outdoors,” Killips said.

If you’re still a skeptic about this trend’s popularity like I was, type in your city’s name + rocks in the Facebook search bar and you’ll be surprised how many groups have formed in cities around the country. (For instance, Augusta Rocks has 21,000+ members, while “Painted Rocks Savannah, Ga.” has nearly 1,500.)

For more background on this trend, check out these articles:
How it all began (video)
Why you see painted rocks everywhere

And don’t forget to share your finds with us! On Facebook & Twitter, use @SavannahCorps.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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  • Terry

    Side topic: I have used (a lot!) and enjoyed the app “USACE Savannah” on my iPad and iPhone. Even though it is not updated every day, I find the data to be very useful. Unfortunately the app doesn’t work with iOS 11. The app doesn’t work on my updated iPad. It will soon not work on my iPhone. An updated version of the app is not available in the App Store.

    Is an updated version of the app in the works? Please tell me yes and that it will be available soon.

    • Hello Terry – Yes, an updated version in the works. We also had to update our license agreement with Apple, which took a bit of time. I expect to have this resolved by next week sometime. I apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for your positive feedback on the App. ~Russell Wicke