The ‘Kindness Rock’ debate

Do you think Kindness Rocks should be banned from BLM land, Nat’l Forests and Parks?

  • Total voters


Welcome from New Hampshire
Oct 1, 2014
South Central New Hampshire
They have made there way up here to New Hampshire and show up all over our little town. The kids have enjoyed finding them & hiding them for others to find. I cant believe that they are doing any real harm.


Retired from the Federal Government
May 7, 2013
Somewhere in Idaho
Ok for a neighborhood, on public streets in towns; but no need to leave this stuff around national parks or BLM lands. Just a piece of litter. Just leave the national parks and BLM/Forest service lands as natural as we can. What's next, kindness posters, kindness painting on cliff sides, boulders, on arches?
Most people would agree with the phrase Leave No Trace Behind. We cannot prevent all trace of us such as footprints, tire tracks, etc.; however, why intentionally leave litter behind and that is all this stuff is.
Just imagine if every person who visited a national park, like Arches, and left a nice colorful rock behind in front of Delicate Arch? How would the view look with a few thousand green/red/pink/black/purple rocks laying in front of the arch?
Just imagine....

Or maybe hundreds of painted rocks in front of Pritchett arch?

Corona Arch?

Problem is not with one, it is with hundreds or more. Since if you allow one, then more will follow.
If I come across one, I'll pick it up and toss it into the first dumpster I find.
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Active Member
Feb 22, 2018
Worcester Area, MA
No they should not be on national park land. The creator of this movement lists in the rules that they should not be on national park land & that before people leave them somewhere they should get properrty owners permission be it a business or privet property. Therefore if the national parks do not want them on the land and they break the leave nothing behind rule than there should be no debate. They should not be there it breaks the movements rules and the national parks rules.


Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Only on private property or other places, with the correct approval.
These are no less graffiti or litter than any other item dropped in a national park or other public land. Over the past few years, the amount of graffiti I've found in parks has increased - for example, many markings with what appear to be Sharpies on rocks, trail markers and so on. While the idea behind the rocks may seem innocuous, it reinforces a mind-set that "I want to do this, therefore I will".


Retired from the Federal Government
May 7, 2013
Somewhere in Idaho
Last year in Pocatello there was a fad to place Pocatello rocks that were brightly painted. Since I don't live in Poly I never saw one, but it was in the SE Idaho news.


Super Active Member
Dec 9, 2013
San Diego
"Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints".
It drives me nuts every time I read a story of eco-terrorism; thoughtless tourists scrawling their names on ancient artifacts so that they can take a selfie along with their vandalism This sense of "entitlement" needs to be stopped in it's tracks. There is also a movement to place (love)locks on bridges. This has become such a dangerous practice in some areas because the bridge was not designed to withstand the weight of thousands of metal locks (placed by multitudes of lovers). I first read about this problem in Europe, and now it has crossed over to our own country. There's a bridge in Seattle that had to have all the locks clipped off.


Super Active Member
Jan 6, 2014
Scottsville, KY
They definitely do not belong at NP’s, or monuments, which are very special places with a very high volume of visitors.

My DS was excited when he found one in the bushes at a ACOE campground last fall. Nothing real special about the campground, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
How does this morally compare to geocaching?
Once while hiking several miles deep in the backcountry at Big South Fork NRA, I found a tiny 2” tall toy dinosaur placed on the side of a vegetation covered sandstone cliff. It blended in really well. My eye caught it randomly as we hiked by. Really odd. Someone told me it was probably a geocache. Technically that is against the rules. But it made me smile. IDK......


Retired from the Federal Government
May 7, 2013
Somewhere in Idaho
Most of the geocaches I have seen in the desert are just a unique arrangement of common rocks in the area. Almost like a trail cairn but more horizontal then vertical. Almost impossible to see unless you have the GPS coordinates from one of the websites. However, we did come across a metal box, attached to a chain, anchored to the steps of Riverhouse Ruins. It ended up in the dumpster at the BLM District office in Moab UT.


Sep 21, 2016
I didn't know what these were before this post. I could see how they could be kind of an eyesore. I really don't like finding unnatural things around campsites, I even end up picking up bottle caps and stuff people leave that get uncovered when raking and throw them away. Also paint takes a long time to wear off. It is fun for kids to find things, personally we try letter boxing if there are any around us but i just don't really care for this..


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
How does this morally compare to geocaching?

The whole point of geocaching is to be hidden. It seems the point of these rocks is to jump out at you, and intentionally be out of context.

As long as Geocaching isn't harming the natural environment (e.g. people trampling through sensitive vegetation to find it) I see little wrong with placing a camouflaged container in a hollow log. In fact, Geocaching has taken me to many places that I would not have seen otherwise, and I think that's the entire point of the sport. Of course, the land manager/property owner has the final say on whether you can cache on their property.

The friendship rocks: I'd be ok with finding one in a developed campground. I'm ok with seeing them downtown, or even in a developed city park. I'd be less happy to see one on a rugged hiking trail, and certainly not by any kind of significant natural feature.


Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 20, 2014
Knee deep in kudzu
I also didn't know these were a thing. In general, I think they don't belong in state parks or national parks, monuments, wildlife preserves, historic sites, etc. Would make an exception for places like parking lots & campgrounds. Basically if it is an area where we are trying to preserve nature or historic sites, we should not be adding unnecessary alterations. Setting up roads, buildings, parking lots, campgrounds, signage, etc. are compromise enough without adding painted rocks.

Also, these could be either art or graffiti. If it is a rock from somewhere else that you painted & brought along with you to the placement site, then I think it's art. It might be poorly place art, but art nonetheless. It is graffiti, If it is a rock already at its natural location in a park or historic site, that you then painted. That should be, and almost assuredly already is, illegal. Art & graffiti are a bit like plants & weeds. Graffiti is a form of art but usually put in what someone deems as an inappropriate or illegal place. A weed is just a plant in a supposedly wrong place. It's very subjective.


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I could see this taking a wrong turn also... people putting messages on them advocating a political standpoint, or hate, or other propaganda, rather than just a mushy universally liked slogan.


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
Personally, I think Mother Nature has done a great job on her own. No place for these human painted rocks in our parks and forests.

Now the idea of painting pebbles gold, great but to have more fun, put them in your neighbor's garden in the middle of the night before they start planting.

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