Karen Sawyer wants to honor the nurses of Martha’s Vineyard by painting rocks and hiding them around the Island.
Sawyer, who lives in Edgartown, is encouraging others to paint rocks and hide them, then post their approximate coordinates on her MV Rocks Facebook page for others to hunt.
In order to keep participants safe, Sawyer is suggesting that people pass on painting or hiding rocks if they are sick, cleaning found rocks with sanitizing wipes, using hand sanitizer when returning from rock hunting or hiding, and maintaining safe social distancing throughout.
Sawyer said her idea started with her painting a rock to honor her friend who recently retired from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, but didn’t get the celebration she deserved.
“That was the gold rock, and I know lots of people who have family or friends who work at the hospital,” Sawyer said.
Recently, Sawyer said she hid some painted rocks at Squibnocket Beach, Gay Head, Menemsha Beach, and the Lagoon Drawbridge.
As long as people are adhering to social distancing guidelines, using proper protective equipment when in public areas, and maintaining good personal hygiene, Sawyer said the rock hiding and hunting is not only a good way to spread messages of positivity and honor nurses, it encourages folks to get fresh air and enjoy nature.
“After I paint a rock, I always sanitize it and put my gloves on. Then I hide the rock and put the coordinates on the Facebook page so it’s kind of like a scavenger hunt,” Sawyer said.
Some of the rocks contained messages such as “nurses rock” with a heart and a stick figure drawing of a nurse.
Others read “be brave” and “We’ll make it through.”
“I just want to give a huge thank you to our nurses for everything they do, it is so incredible,” Sawyer said.