Popular rock-painting trend in parks violates state laws in some places, officials say

San Antonio Facebook group hub for growing fad

By Erica Hernandez - Digital Journalist
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SAN ANTONIO - If you have walked around any local parks, you may have spotted a painted rock hidden under a bush or up in a tree and wondered what it was.

The answer is a new treasure hunt-like trend that is growing in popularity.

The San Antonio Rocks Facebook page has seen a surge of new members, and says the idea is to decorate rocks and hide them in locations to brighten someone's day. 

Recently, the group posted they were not allowed to hide rocks at Government Canyon State Natural Area.

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Park Superintendent Chris Holm says that this is not a sanctioned activity within Texas state parks, and could be considered illegal under littering laws.

"Although this trend may be a fun activity for some, leaving painted rocks all over the place, or actually painting rocks found on state property, is not a recreational activity that is conducive with keeping a natural area natural," Holm said. 

Government Canyon's John H. Koepke said the same rules apply to state natural areas as state parks.

"As a (state natural area), our primary mission is focusing on resource protection, not recreation," he said.

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Even though taking rocks from a state park or state natural area is not allowed, it is not regulated against inside San Antonio city parks.

The San Antonio City Parks and Recreation Department said that the new trend has not presented any challenges, but they encourage park users to observe safety rules. 

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