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Draper Journal

Rockwell the rock snake surpasses expectations and continues to grow

Apr 08, 2024 03:41PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

Colorful, decorated rocks line the abandoned train tracks that run parallel to the Porter Rockwell Trail, beginning where the trail intersects with Boulter Street and heading toward Draper Park. Creators Kelsee Sellers and her children Libby and Lee have a goal of reaching Draper Park by this summer if not sooner. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

What began as a feel-good project for a local mom and her young children has far exceeded expectations, much to the delight of many in the community. It’s been especially fun for creators Kelsee Sellers and her children, Libby and Lee.

“Rockwell” the rock snake started last June where the Porter Rockwell Trail intersects with Boulter Street. It began with a rock painted to resemble a friendly snake head. Signs were added to explain that anyone is welcome to add their own artistic creations. Rockwell runs parallel to the Porter Rockwell Trail along the abandoned train tracks. Sellers and her kids visit their creation frequently to see and count the additions and Sellers paints milestone rocks to indicate the total number of rocks at that point along the trail and encourage its continued growth. Those milestone rocks began with markers for the hundreds, but then grew into markers for milestones such as 1,000 and 3,000. Rockwell will soon reach 4,000 specially-decorated rocks, something Sellers and her kids didn’t dream would happen when they began. But their goals have continued to grow along with Rockwell. 

“The kid’s goal is for their snake to reach Draper Park. I’d say it’s roughly 500 feet or so for their snake to connect. They are extremely hopeful it will happen before the end of summer this year, and perhaps start ‘coiling’ it’s way back on the other side of the tracks,” Sellers said. 

They’ve recently added a “tail” so that people coming from Draper Park can add rocks from that direction without having to walk too far. Sellers’ mom helps her clear trees and debris from along the path so that people can continue to add their colorful creations. The decorated rocks are an assortment of art by all ages and abilities, from novices to near professionals. Some feature inspirational phrases and quotes, others resemble animals, fish, fruits or vegetables, American flags, basketballs and even candy bars. 

“Spring has sprung and the rock snake supporters have already started visiting,” Sellers said. “We hope people continue to add and be respectful of others’ artwork throughout the summer months. It’s been such a joy to see all the creations popping up along Rockwell.” λ