Lakeland Rocks movement spreads across country, world

By Rick Elmhorst, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Lakeland Rocks movement has grown quite large since it was founded last fall. Thousands of people in Lakeland paint small rocks and hide them around the city.

  • Lakeland Rocks movement spreads across country, world
  • Rocks painted with inspirational messages hidden around city
  • The inspirational rocks have spread across country

Now, their small act of kindness has spread to other parts of the country and the world.

Scott “Scooter” Urquhart started Lakeland Rocks last fall after a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia for his son’s wedding. He found a painted rock from Vancouver Rocks and thought it would be a good idea for Lakeland. He felt people needed something uplifting during the negative election season.

Scott “Scooter” Urquhart started Lakeland Rocks last fall after a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia for his son’s wedding. (Rick Elmhorst, staff)

"It was just something positive that could brighten somebody's day. Bring families together,” said Urquhart.

Other Bay area cities have started their own rock painting organizations and the Lakeland Rocks Facebook page now has 35-thousand members.

People from Lakeland have been hiding their rocks in other states and people in those places have been finding them and putting pictures of their rocks on the Lakeland Rocks Facebook page.

That includes Kristan Marter, from New Jersey, who found a rock from Lakeland at a rest stop near her home.

"I just happened to glance down at the ground and behind a begonia plant was this neat little rock,” she said.

She said she put the rock back where she found it so someone else could have run discovering it.

"It's just something neat to do for the kids,” she said. “But you know what, we are all kids."

Two kids found a Lakeland Rocks rock in the United Kingdom. 

While on a trip to Maine, Lakeland resident Beverly Fox gave some painted rocks, honoring her daughter Callie who died of a drug overdose, to Nikki Smith who works at a restaurant in Maine.

"It's amazing. I mean they are simple little painted rocks that someone probably found in their garden and painted them,” said Smith.

Smith said the rocks were meaningful to her because she lost a cousin to an overdose. 

"It means the world. It's wild. I'll keep them forever,” she said.

Urquhart believes he has accomplished his mission of bringing some happiness to people.

“A thousand times we think we have accomplished the mission,” he said.