How Bobby Weaver Found a Purpose in Life Through Gardening

Like an Aspen sapling yet to take root, Bobby Weaver was uncertain about life and perhaps even vulnerable, when he first arrived at Geiger Corrections Center. Soon after he began serving time for a drug-related conviction, he was hand-picked to nurture and take care of more than 2,500 trees in the jail nursery.

The fresh air, the soil, and responsibility of caring for young trees is transforming Bobby in a way he never expected. As the trees grow, so does Bobby. For the first time in his life, Bobby reveals he has a positive outlook on life. He believes in himself. He believes in his future.

“It makes me realize I’m a real person again. It keeps my mind off why I’m here,” said Bobby.

Bobby has always had a green thumb. At one point in life, he dreamed of going to college and becoming a botanist. For Bobby, having his hands in the soil gives him hope. He finds joy knowing the trees he weeded and watered for several hours every day, were planted at High Bridge Park on Saturday as part of The Lands Council Reforest Spokane Day.

Bobby is one of about a dozen or so inmates selected to work in the jail nursery and garden. This year alone, inmates harvested 3,900 pounds of fresh produce and donated it all to local homeless shelters.

During his time at Geiger, Bobby is also learning to build raised garden beds. He hopes this new skill set and new-found confidence, will help him land a job down the road.

Bobby is now in a drug treatment program. He’ll be in treatment for up to 60 days and then he’ll be planting new roots outside of a barbed wire fence. He hopes to inspire other inmates to live a life of purpose and serving others.

“There’s a better way and positive way to do things. We don’t have to keep repeating the process,” said Bobby.

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