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Atascadero's "Rock Snake" moved prior to construction

Atascadero rock snake.JPG
Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 07, 2021

The Atascadero “Rock Snake” at Atascadero Lake has been moved in response to a construction and maintenance project.

In November of 2020, SLO Painted Rocks member Wanda Kohl placed the first painted rock at Atascadero Lake, leading to many more rocks being placed side-by-side, creating the “Rock Snake.”

“If I said one word, it would be 'community' because that’s who has done this. The first time I came back, there was probably 20 extra rocks, so I knew probably within the first four weeks that something was going to happen,” Kohl said.

“We had to have about 8,500 rocks. It’s now almost 10,000 rocks and it’s one consecutive long rock so it does qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records,” said City of Atascadero Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish.

Construction at Atascadero Lake began Tuesday on sidewalks and roads in the surrounding area.

“It’s a part of the city of Atascadero’s F-14 pavement rehabilitation project. We’re reconstructing the section of Marchant Way and Pismo Avenue, paving it, and putting in a new walkway along the side of the lake,” said Souza Construction Project Manager Will Stoudenmire.

To complete the project, the “Rock Snake” had to be moved slightly out of the way.

“We just knew through COVID-19 everybody was into this “Rock Snake,” and so we made a point to notify the city that we would have been disturbing them and so they worked with us and got it out of our way,” Stoudenmire said.

“The enormity of actually having to get permission to do that, I don’t know what to think about that,” Kohl said.

“Even though we had to do construction on this side, it gave us the opportunity to move the rocks over and we were very careful doing so. On Friday, we all came out and Friends of Atascadero Lake as well as SLO Painted Rocks moved the rocks,” Banish said.

“However you spread it, the message of hope, peace, and community, everybody gets to do that because it belongs to everybody,” Kohl said.

Construction on the lake is expected to be complete by September 17.

A patriot-themed painted rock booth will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sunken Gardens during the “Saturday in the Park Summer Concert Series.”