The expression “leave no stone unturned” gains new meaning with every stroll through Brookfield.

Across the village, painted rocks have been hidden for the public to find and collect. Alice Harris, 37, is a resident of Brookfield who came up with the idea to paint stones and place them in different places.

Her daughter, Katlyn Nicol, 14, has been busy painting rocks as well. Once residents find the rocks, they can post photos of them to a Facebook page called “Brookfield Rocks.” which is run by Harris. The page has garnered a large following of more than 750 members.

“We found our first painted rock while in Michigan,” Harris said. “We decided to paint our own rocks and spread them around Brookfield.”

Residents of Brookfield can find these rocks hidden while going on walks. They can keep the rocks or hide them again. 

“There are no rules as of right now, but it is family-oriented,” Harris said.

The painted rocks started popping up around Brookfield in April. The goal was to get people involved and to give her daughter something to do while everything was shut down due to the pandemic, she said.

“My daughter and I paint the rocks and then hide them around town,” Alice said. “When she stopped going to school due to the coronavirus, I wanted to keep her busy.”

The activity is good for children and keeps them occupied even while everything is closed, according to Harris.

Harris’ sister-in-law, Jennifer Harris, 36, also helps with painting the rocks and hiding them. They both live on opposite ends of Brookfield, so one normally covers the north side while the other covers the south side.

“I never knew I could paint until a few months ago,” Jennifer said.

Originally, they found the rocks around town, but then they started buying them from Home Depot, she said. 

According to Harris, they also have a salt dough recipe to make “rocks” and they plan to carry the activity into the winter months.

“You can make an ornament or a rock, and we might even place some of the ornaments on some evergreen trees in the winter,” Jennifer said.

Painting rocks is therapeutic and it calms her anxiety, she said.

“I do a lot of promoting and painting,” Jennifer said. “I’ll paint in the mornings and the evenings.”

New rock designs are coming as well. They just started hiding rocks with four leaf clovers and good-luck penny rocks, she said.

The Facebook page has been filled with pictures of rocks found around Brookfield. Harris and her daughter are busy with more rocks to come, she said.

“It will only keep growing from this point on,” Jennifer said.

Rock painting session at Compassion Factory

If you'd like to get in on Brookfield latest rock-painting craze, two of the members of the Brookfield Rocks Facebook group, Patty Dosek and Carolyn Morriss, will be leading an open painting session on Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, July 18 at 9 a.m. at Compassion Factory Art Gallery and Studio, 9210 Broadway Ave. in Brookfield.

The cost to participate is $5 for the rocks, which participants will be free to take home. The session is open to all ages and there's no set end time. Parents are welcome to accompany kids at no additional cost, though they are welcomes to register to participate as well.

All supplies will be provided, and the session will be held outside, weather permitting. Anyone attending must wear a face covering.

A registration link can be found at compassion-factory.square.site.

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