One local’s loneliness leads to the creation of a rocky online community

Ever move to a new area or back to a previous area where you knew little to no other people? If so, then you can probably relate to Sandy and the loneliness she felt when she moved back to Petaluma, California, after a 35 year hiatus. 

She wanted to find her community and after a while, instead of waiting for it to fall into her lap, Sandy took some advice and help from a few friends and started an online page — a Facebook group, with one member. 

Little did this gardener know, that on that day, back on September 26, 2016, her little Facebook group would grow into an over 1,000 member Facebook community that would not only transform her sadness but also many, many, many others in and around Petaluma. 

On December 13, 2017, Lori shared her find on the Petaluma Rocks Facebook page, “Found in drive thru! My first! Definitely makes me happy ❤️ What a beauty”. 

Petaluma Rocks
Lori finds painted rock in Petaluma Starbucks Drive Thru

Lori, like others in the area, find happiness in the form of painted rocks, some with images and others with inspirational words or quotes, all made by volunteers varying in age and skill level, with the soul intent of spreading kindness and goodwill.


Painted Rocks
Karen shares some painted rocks with the Facebook group, Petaluma Rocks, before she hides them around the city.

Many people keep the rocks, while some choose to re-hide them for others to find. 

Often times, the rocks invite the finder to join the Facebook group, to become part of a greater purpose and to share their find with fellow “Petaluma Rockers”. 

Post to Petaluma Rocks
The back of Lori’s painted rock invites her to post a picture of her find on the Facebook page, Petaluma Rocks.

Sandy and a few other members of the Petaluma Rocks community are excited to share their time and talents at the January 27th, Creator Faire, where families will have the opportunity to paint and hide their own kindness rocks in a fun, group setting. 

However, painting, hiding and of course finding rocks, are encouraged as a fun and thoughtful family activity everyday of the year!

Family Activities