Did you know along the trail outside of Parr Park, there are thousands of rocks delicately painted with inspirational quotes, cartoon characters, nature & wildlife, Texas landmarks and so much more?
The Parr Park Rock Art Trail is sure to inspire all who meander through the trails to explore. The Rock Art Trail lies between the trailhead of Wall-Farrar Nature Trail and the trail connection from Parr Park along Big Bear Creek.
Once the Parks and Recreation Department discovered the Rock Art Trail, we felt compelled to learn who the artists were behind this beautiful work. Some research led us to Grapevine resident, Ron Olsen, who we soon learned started the initiative with only ten rocks to spread joy throughout the community.
In early March, Ron took a work trip to Iceland, right before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) began spreading around the nation. The outbreak worsened, and his friends and family in Texas told him about how Texan businesses were shutting down, schools were closed, and many people were isolated to their homes. As the number of COVID-19 cases increased rapidly, traveling in and out of countries came to a halt. Ron learned that he was going to be stuck in Iceland until it was safe to leave.
After weeks passed in isolation, Ron was finally able to return to Grapevine, where the shutdown of his beloved state and city was now a reality. “Travel from Iceland to the United States was permanently halted the day after I left,” says Ron.
As many Texans did, Ron turned to the outdoors for physical activity as an escape from feeling stuck at home. Ron explains, “After I came back home and saw a lot more people outdoors, I wondered, what could I do to uplift and encourage my community?”
So, he and his family gathered ten smooth-surfaced rocks, painted them, and scattered them alongside Parr Park Trail. The artwork on the original rocks consisted of a simple happy face, an Oklahoma University logo, blue-bonnets, a mountain and stream scene, a galloping horse (Grapevine Mustang!), and rock- zero was the Iceland national flag.
To Ron’s surprise, rocks began multiplying. Other trail attendees would add day by day, more and more rocks. It was precisely the chain reaction that he was hoping for.
“Encouraging each other is essential to sticking together as a community and using what we have to brighten the days,” he says.
“The artwork is beautiful, and there is so much talent displayed. I hope one day, this can become a bit of an outdoor attraction in Grapevine that people will be excited to see. My three-year-old granddaughter had more fun seeing all the Rock Art on the trail than when I bought her a $50 ticket for Ice at the Gaylord.”
Research has proven that creating art helps you to relax due to its ability to reduce anxiety and stress in your body. Using art to express how you feel is a form of journaling that experts say helps those who are stressed.
“The fact that so many others are using the Parr Park Rock Art Trail to stay encouraged during these times is uplifting in itself,” Director of Parks and Recreation, Kevin Mitchell says. “My family and I spent hours on the trail, exploring all of the rocks.”
If you haven’t already, visit the Parr Park Rock Art Trail. The talent is truly amazing, and we’re thankful that our citizens aim to inspire each other through the enjoyment of the outdoors.
Per Google Maps: 2704 Cypress Creek Ct, Grapevine, TX 76051