The Dunwoody Nature Center is joining the painted rock trend sweeping the nation to bring public art to the city with its own “Dunwoody Rocks” event.

“This event is for everyone,” Nature Center Executive Director Alan Mothner said.

Some sample rocks from the Dunwoody Rocks project. (Special)

There will be several painting workshops leading up to the Oct. 28 event, at which people can paint their own designs on fairly large, heavy rocks that Mothner said will then be planted in the park for visitors to admire as they walk the trails.

Mothner is hopeful that enough people will participate to decorate several hundred rocks to be collected and piled at locations in the park.

“Ideally we will have rock islands in two or three spots in the park,” he said.

Dunwoody’s rock painting venture will differ from those in many other cities where the goal is for people to paint rocks as insects, animals, or with inspirational words or even abstract designs, and then hide them at various spots for people to find later and share via social media.

Mothner said the Nature Center is using larger, landscaping rocks for people to paint to dissuade people from picking them up and taking them out of the park.

“We are hoping that with the bigger rocks, they won’t ‘walk away’ as quickly as with smaller rocks, and that way more people can come to the park to enjoy seeing them in place,” he said.

The Dunwoody Rocks project’s goal is to attract people to the Nature Center who may not ordinarily venture into a park setting, he said. The project follows last year’s “Hoos in the Forest,” in which an artist created several creatures made out of organic materials, such as sticks, and placed them throughout the park.

Plenty of rocks are at the Nature Center ready to be painted for the Dunwoody Rocks public art project to be unveiled Oct. 28. (Special)

“The city has begun its public arts initiative and we started ours last year … and this is building on that,” Mothner said. “We plan to have a public art event every year.”

On Oct. 28, people will go out and place painted rocks at the Nature Center and celebrate with a community picnic lunch.

Because all paints and materials used are non-toxic and water- based, the plan is to allow them to remain in place until the elements eventually return the rocks to their natural state, Mothner said.

For more information, see

Rock painting workshops

  • Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon
    at the Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon
    as part of Dunwoody Volunteer Day at Brook Run Park, 4770 Peachtree Road.
  • Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at Spruill Center for the Arts, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Dunwoody Rocks unveiling
Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.