Eganville – Michelle Hyrski is looking forward to spreading a little kindness, creating some fun with a large snake made out of rocks and starting something new in the community with a Kindness Rock Project.

“In spreading kindness in our garden, you can take a rock, share one with a friend or add one to keep our garden growing with kindness,” she explained at Bonnechere Valley council last Tuesday afternoon.

The Kindness Rock Project started in 2015 on Cape Cod and has spread worldwide. She was part of a group in another community and is hoping it will be a hit in Eganville too.

“When painting the rocks, the idea is to leave Eganville Rocks on the back of the rock,” she said. “It encourages the finder to search and look for Eganville, especially if they found it outside our community and look us up on social media.”

The project is something people of all ages can participate in and could also help travel and tourism.

“We could host various painted rock classes, events, unveilings, artisan shows, wellness shows and add a little bit of excitement towards visiting our Geo Heritage Trail,” she told council.

To kick off the local group she wanted to have a snake made out of painted rocks near the entrance of the Geo Trail, she said. Other ideas include having a rock garden near the signs for the Geo Trail, she said.

“Our motto will be ‘be the reason someone smiles today’,” she said.

Michelle Hyrski is excited about bringing Kindness Rocks to Eganville and has started the group Eganville Rocks.

Having Eganville Rocks on the back of the rock is a great way to spread visibility about Eganville, she said.

“Travel with it anywhere you may be travelling to, re-hide it or perhaps give it to someone as an act of kindness to brighten their day,” she said.

Ms. Hyrski said she hopes if someone is having a bad day they can visit the rock garden, find a special rock and receive a kindness boost.

Her goal is to launch the snake in the next few weeks, she told council.
“Let’s start rocking,” she quipped.

Mayor Jennifer Murphy said she was very supportive of the concept.

“I think it is a lovely idea,” she said.

Ms. Hyrski said she was involved in a similar group in Brantford when she lived there.

“It is now on the front lawn of city hall,” she said.

There are local groups in the area, including Pembroke and Douglas and there is a lot of excitement about this, she said.

“And with our rock snake, I want to see how long it gets,” she said.

Councillor Brent Patrick suggested she approach the library and get the youth involved.

The project has the support of the Bonnechere Museum board and she is also hoping to get other community groups involved.

“There is no downside to it,” Councillor Tracey Sanderson said.

Following the meeting with council and the approval for the project, Ms. Hyrski launched a Facebook page and enlisted the support of other organizations. She told the Leader the library is having a rock painting night for youth and those rocks will help start the snake. The launch of the Eganville Rocks project is July 29 at 10 a.m. at the start of the Geo Heritage Trail where the rock snake will be located.

Kindness Rocks have a saying on them, or a painting to make people smile. The ones in Eganville will say Eganville underneath.