The official state rock?

Feb 4, 2011

Tenino sandstone would become the official state rock under a bill introduced this week by Republican state senator Dan Swecker of Rochester.

Critics may wonder why lawmakers are drafting bills for state rocks rather than dealing with an estimated $5 billion shortfall in the next biennial budget, but the bill is actually the work of a group of Tenino School District students. 

The students were studying the legislative process and decided to get some hands-on experience when they noticed the list of official state symbols didn't include a state rock.

They presented the bill to Swecker when he visited the school in December. Swecker, impressed by the effort the kids put into researching and drafting the bill, promised to introduce it to the Legislature.

Tenino is home to the Tenino Quarry, which was abandoned after the end of World War I. Sandstone from the quarry was used in many buildings in downtown Tenino (including the bank pictured above) and elsewhere around the state.