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Atascadero Lake’s rock snake is coming to an end 

rock snake at atascadero lake

Citizens asked to collect their rocks if they wish to keep them

– In August of 2020, a unique set of rocks started to appear around Atascadero Lake Park. There was a large, diamond-shaped rock that was placed at the east end of Atascadero Lake Park before the bridge that said, “This is a rock snake. Add your painted rocks, and let’s see how long it’ll grow.”

Atascadero resident Wanda Kohl started the rock snake as a way to spread positivity to those in her community through her art. It was an opportunity for the community to share their artwork with special rocks and on social media, be able to tag the rock group’s Facebook page “SLO Painted Rocks,” and a few other fun pages such as “Rocks Behaving Badly,” where people hide rocks around the neighborhood.

Towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, the rock snake grew to a record number of rocks that measured over a half mile, wrapping around the lake. Many added rocks from “Happy Mother’s Day” to gender reveals, to one “promposal” asking “Will you go to the high school prom with me?” along with a little rock that said, “Yes!” At one point, there were over 4,000 consecutive rocks around the lake.

The city reached out to volunteers to assist with moving small sections of rocks to the main rock snake when the paving of Marchant took place. They were moved to Lake View Drive to join the main snake and in hopes to gain the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records. While the rock snake didn’t qualify for any type of record-setting, it was the longest, most contiguous set of art on the Central Coast.

The rock snake has enjoyed a two-year run, but the city says that the time has arrived for those who contributed to the rock collection to come out to the lake to collect them. Over the last few years, the rock snake has endured varying weather conditions and many rocks have been displaced, as the rock snake sits along a walkway and where cars park.

Over the month of September, citizens are encouraged to come and get their rocks from the snake if they wish to keep them. Beginning in October, the SLO Painted Rock group along with Wanda Kohl and any volunteers interested, will be out collecting the remaining rocks.

They plan to be out at the lake Saturday mornings through October from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. To be a part of the volunteers, contact Wanda Kohl either by phone or text at (805) 468-9084.


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