Kristine Tan empties her bucket of rocks onto a picnic table to show them off. A few are painted to look like trailers. Three are sweet little ladybugs. Others are covered in patterns, flowers and encouraging messages.

She painted some of the rocks herself, while her children, ages 6 and 9, decorated the rest.

Ms. Tan’s plan is to hide the rocks around the community – some in tricky spots and others in places that are easier to find – in hopes of bringing joy to those who stumble across them.

“You can brighten someone’s day by putting them in places where someone can find them,” she said. “When I find something like that I always get a smile on my face.”

Ms. Tan and a few of her friends were inspired by a group in Sooke that started painting and hiding rocks for the public to find. They started a Facebook group called Rock Hunt In The Columbia Valley, where she hopes hiders and seekers will post pictures of their treasures.

“I’m just hoping that more families get involved and get their kids painting rocks,” she said. “It’s fun to create them and it’s fun to share them.”

Residents and visitors are welcome to keep any of the rocks they find, to re-hide them or to paint their own rocks for others to find.

“We just want people to get there, explore, get inspired and have fun,” she said. “We’re pretty happy with whatever happens.”

Ms. Tan has plans to scatter rock art around the new dog park, down at Kinsmen Beach and around town. At press time, one of her colourful creations was nestled in some greenery in front of the Pioneer’s office.

The Invermere Public Library is joining in on the fun too. This Saturday, September 15th, the library will be hosting a rock painting event from 10-12 p.m.