Take a minute to get connected!

Tell us how you would like to receive Henrico County news and information

Rick Baber, Department of Public Utilities

Amid the discarded garbage and debris dumped at the Springfield Road Public Use Area, there is a carefully cultivated plot of earth designed to lift spirits. Department of Public Utilities employee Rick Baber calls it a “hope garden.”

“People like to see things grow,” he said, “hopefully, it will bring a little joy.”

The idea took root in Baber’s mind about one month into the COVID-19 pandemic. He wanted to brighten the somber mood of staff.

“I saw a little piece of ground and thought it would be nice to have a garden out here,” Baber explained.

The public use area superintendent admits his coworkers were skeptical, but he convinced some of them to help.

They built a 10-by-12 garden with wood and dirt donated by a local Girl Scouts troop, then planted tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

“Anything dealing with nature is positive. When the garden flourishes and bears fruit, I think it will make people happy,” Baber said.

Google Translate Icon