901Rocks spreads fun, happiness around Memphis

901 Rocks give positive message in Memphis
Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 4:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 4:39 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If you see angry rocks, smiling rocks, or even famous people painted on rocks around town, don't be alarmed; it's all part of the fun that a group of Memphians are enjoying called 901 Rocks.

Memphians are painting rocks, and leaving them around town for others to find.  Think of it as Pokemon Go or Geocaching, without the smartphone.  People out searching for rocks often meet others who are also searching for the same rock, making this an ad hoc social event.

Students at Bruce Elementary met Monday to create their own 901Rocks.

"It just fills my heart knowing that we've started something so positive," 901Rocks co-creator Amy McSpadden said.

McSpadden partnered with Lisa Dawson to start the project, which was originally created to lure kids away from clicking away on tablets or sitting in front of the television. Dawson reached out using the website NextDoor in Midtown with the project idea, and it grew from there.

It started as Midtown Rocks, but was changed to 901 Rocks to include the entire 901 area. After its creation in summer 2016 it already has more than 16,000 members in the Facebook group. 

"We go to each other's house," student Brittany Garza said. "We paint them with sharpies and leave them at Overton Park."

Anyone can hide the rocks, and anyone can find them. When you spot a brightly colored rock, take a picture and post it to social media with the hashtag #901rocks. You can either keep the cool rock as a Memphis memento, or you can re-hide it for others to find.

Creators said the only rules are to respect everyone's property (no trespassing!) and remember this is about spreading a positive message.

McSpadden said teachers on a budget make up a large portion of the people playing 901Rocks. If you would like to help donate stones to teachers click here, fill out the form, and specify that the donation should go to 901Rocks. You can also donate by sending a check to PO Box 111169 Memphis, TN 38111.

If you're looking to get into the game yourself, a bag of rocks at Lowe's only costs $10. Paint your own, hashtag them, and hide them in your part of the city. Players abound, and they are especially grateful for clues posted to social media alerting them where rocks can be found.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.