Connecting strangers through a bit of color with ‘rock snakes’

Jul 14, 2023, 8:27 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2023, 3:35 pm

DRAPER, Utah — Snakes are popping up in residential neighborhoods from Tooele down to Draper, and they are turning heads for all the right reasons.

Six-year-old Liberty Sellers, of Draper, had the idea to create Rockwell the Artistic Rock Snake on the Porter Rockwell Trail at 12715 S. Boulter Street. It started with her family painting a few rocks and placing them in a line, with a sign encouraging others to paint and share as well.

“Liberty loves hiding treasures for people to find. She begged to make a rock snake,” Kelsee Sellers, Liberty’s mom said. “When the project reached 100 rocks, she was over the moon. And then 200…and 300! Every milestone she has been so excited! Rockwell was only up for 2.5 weeks when it had reached 500 rocks.”

The Rock Snake is quickly approaching 600 rocks of all designs, shapes and colors.

“It’s just a joyful project to see. It brightens people’s days,” Sellers said.

Last week, when going to check on Rockwell’s growth – hikers noticed a sign posted by Draper City demanding the rock snake be removed by Monday, July 10th.

“I was really sad. I thought Rockwell was all done growing,” Liberty, who will be in 1st Grade in the fall, said. “And I really, really wanted to watch him grow throughout the summer.”

Linda Peterson, Communications Director for Draper City shared this statement with KSL TV for their reasoning behind the removal.

“The city told us the problem rested with free speech on a public trail; if they approved this Rock Snake, they would have to approve everything. So we did what we could to keep the magic alive,” Kelsee said.

Family members loaded the pieces of Rockwell into a wagon and transplanted the snake to a different location about 30 feet off the trail – on some unusable and abandoned railroad tracks.

“The area was very overgrown, so we spent days with chainsaws and pruners to clear the debris so people aren’t bumping into things when they come to place rocks,” Kelsee said.

Numerous families have come to participate.

“It was an uplifting reminder of unity and simple joy as I passed it on my ride today,” a bicyclist said.

The KSL TV rock in the line of rocks. (KSL TV)

As Liberty and her mother counted the rocks, four generations were there on the tracks. Liberty’s great grandmother: Linda Richins, her Grandma: Julie Mitchell and mother: Kelsee Sellers stood together admiring a project that has brought more than just their family together.

And in Riverton, “Ernie” the Rock Snake is now more than 50 feet long. Ernie dots the intersection of Cervina and Chamonix Way and has been growing for a month.

Tooele has a Rock Snake too. Theirs is named Romeo and can be found outside the Tooele Market Place.

Organizers said all of these snakes have a common purpose to bring communities together and encourage artistic design.

“We have added rocks; they are fun little rocks! This helps kids not be bored in the summer,” Liberty said. “Rockwell the Snake makes my heart happy!”

KSL 5 TV Live

Outdoors & Recreation

A Utah mountain biker is recalling the moments when a family of badgers approached him at Corner Ca...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Mountain biker recounts aggressive badger standoff in Draper

A mountain biker is recounting a tense standoff with a family of badgers, who got so aggressive they nearly forced him off the trail.

3 days ago

A hiking trail in Utah County....

Andrew Adams

Rescuers prepare for what could be a busy Memorial Day weekend

Search and rescue crews are getting ready for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they are urging people to prepare for the elements.

3 days ago

The north side beach of Bear Lake, Idaho, as the lake levels rise and over take the beach....

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

High water levels at Bear Lake mean less beach space this summer

The popular summer vacation spot will have much less beach room because water levels have nearly exceeded Bear Lake.

3 days ago

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AR - JULY 13: A mule train ascends the South Keibab Trail at the Grand ...

Michael Houck

Flagstaff man suspected of lighting car on fire in Grand Canyon National Park

An Arizona man is suspected of lighting a Grand Canyon National Park employee's car on fire, causing it to spread to a nearby structure on Saturday. 

3 days ago

The Logan Canyon, a year after the major spring runoff that hit the state...

Mike Anderson

Some campgrounds set to reopen for Memorial Day weekend, others still recovering from record runoff

Many campground operators are making the finishing touches before opening for the Memorial Day weekend.

4 days ago

Some of the dozens of loaner life jackets that were donated to a Life Jacket Loaner Station at Jord...

Alex Cabrero

Over 900 loaner life jackets donated to Utah lakes and reservoirs

With Memorial Day weekend on the way, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital is donating over 900 life jackets to loaner stations to help prevent drownings.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Connecting strangers through a bit of color with ‘rock snakes’