The city of Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department has stumbled across some monstrous means to encourage children to head outdoors this summer. Popping up in parks and along Brushy Creek Trail are signs reading “Big Foot Xing” and warnings of Bigfoot sightings in the area.

The Parks and Recreation Department started posting about Bigfoot on social media in early June, releasing photo evidence of hair and footprints. It eventually released video evidence on Facebook, encouraging Bigfoot followers to get out and look for clues.

“People are responding to this so well so quickly, we thought we would have to do two to even six posts before anyone paid attention, but after the first post it went media firestorm,” Round Rock Parks and Recreation spokesperson Roger Heaney said.

Some parents have jumped into the search wholeheartedly, commenting about how excited their kids will be and posting to the Parks and Recreation Facebook page about taking their kids out “squatching.” Others have posted negative responses calling the evidence unnecessary and posting signs of wasted tax dollars.

“A lot of what’s been produced has been produced in-house so it’s really not costing anything,” Heaney said. “Most anything we’re doing is sponsored and or donated by local businesses. We’ve really got an outpouring of support from local businesses who want to be a part of it because they believe in the cause.”

There were also commenters calling the whole thing a “hoax” and pointing out the use of old footage and photos.

“Residents have responded back to those comments saying they love it and that definitely outweighs ... those folks who [want to] be critical,” Heaney said.

Rumors have already started about possible Loch Ness sightings in one of the lakes, and a resident contacted the Parks and Recreation department reporting what appeared to be a Chupacabra, Heaney said. Residents should be on the lookout for upcoming videos from Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks, City Manager Laurie Hadley and Mayor Craig Morgan, all of whom will address the alleged wildlife sightings.

Heaney said the signs and social media promotions are intended to help encourage people to get out of the house and take advantage of the parks and recreational amenities in Round Rock.

“Our hope is that they will kind of re-fall in love with the outdoors and activities outdoors and we can in some small way create a more healthy balance for them,” Heaney said.

On July 15, the Parks and Recreation Department will team up with Searching for Bigfoot, a national organization specializing in all things Sasquatch, to conduct a citywide search expedition at Old Settlers Park. The event will be free and attendees can be sure they will catch at least a glimpse of Bigfoot, Heaney said.