SUTHERLAND—The community of Sutherland has a rocking new group for people to join.

Nancy Hill, the director of the Gen. N.B. Baker Library in Sutherland, has started a new social group for rock painting and rock hiding called Sutherland Rocks!

“It’s just the thing to do out there now,” Hill said of the popularity of such groups, which also exist in O’Brien County for Hartley, Primghar, Sanborn and Sheldon. “I looked at their sites and thought that was something we could do here.”

Group members met for the first time on Nov. 7 at the library. Hill has scheduled the group to meet and paint rocks for free at 2 p.m. every Wednesday at the facility.

“It’s just a fun wintertime project,” Hill said. “Anybody can do it. We furnish the paint and everything else; all they have to do is come.”

She has heard good feedback from group members about the rock painting.

“They’re just so excited,” Hill said. “They said, ‘Do we have to wait till next month to come back?’ I said, ‘No, you can come any day.’ We’ll just make it every Wednesday for whenever, for however long they want to do it.”

The group has replaced the library’s general adult crafts event — which had been held the first Wednesday of each month — for the time being.

“Some have started hiding the rocks so far, but it takes a while to get it off the ground,” Hill said. “They’re having fun. Everybody just comes and has fun.”

Hill said “town artist” Judi Jackson of Sutherland helps out other group members with painting and offers tips.

“She does really good work,” Hill said. “She’s a very good artist.”

Group members have painted all kinds of images on the rocks.

“They just paint whatever,” Hill said. “I’ve always liked to paint. I’m not good at it, but I just think I can dab at it.”

She encouraged people who find a painted Sutherland rock to post the location where they found it and photos of it on the Facebook page for Sutherland Rocks!

Group members have written messages on the back of each painted rock with that request. Photos of newly painted rocks also are posted to the Facebook page.

“You can take them anywhere,” Hill said. “It’s kind of fun to see how far they go, too.”

Hill and Sutherland Police Department officer Jami Webster will co-host free children’s rock painting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the library. Bars, cookies and refreshments will be provided.

“It’s an activity that brings people into this place,” Hill said of the library’s rock painting. “People don’t come to a library anymore to read a book. They come for the projects. We try to have something every month for the kids to get them used to coming here.”