Bob Wolk joined Metro Blooms’ team of volunteers in 2008. As someone who likes to constantly reinvent himself, he’s taken on many different roles to support Metro Blooms over the years. Like all our volunteers, he started somewhere, and that was by participating in the Minneapolis Garden Awards program in 2007. After receiving a water bill insert about the program, he nominated his own garden and received a recognition for it. This motivated him to be a better gardener, and earn a higher recognition the following year.
He also became a Blooms Day volunteer then, and starting working with raingarden workshops. One thing led to another and he is now serving as a member of Metro Blooms’ Board of Directors.
Bob has been living in the Lynnhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis with his wife Debby for the last 15 years. They moved there after their four children left the nest. Without the parenting responsibilities, they suddenly had ample time to delve into gardening, which they had been doing since then. A major highlight for Bob and Debby, both as a couple and as gardeners, was their 50th anniversary celebration in 2009.
For this special occasion, they decided to do something out of the ordinary by giving raingardens as gifts to eleven of their neighbors, also building one on their property. They worked with many others to do this, culminating in a day of celebration around the raingardens. About 150 people attended, helping plant the new raingardens and spending time with each other.
Although a teacher by training, Bob has done a few different things for a living. He worked as an English teacher, but then went into the catering business with Debby for 10 years. He worked as a retail manager after that. These changes in livelihood came from him wanting to constantly reinvent himself. Well, he’s done a lot of reinventing because he’s picked up a lot of interesting hobbies as well, aside from being a gardener. During the winter, when he can’t garden, he makes stain glass pictures to put up in his backyard. He’s also a tree care advisor, which he says has made him more aware of the challenges of caring for trees. Poetry, reading and writing are also passions of his. In addition, he’s a member of the burial society at this synagogue.
There were some travel stories Bob shared too. A major travel highlight for Bob was the time he spent in a kibbutz, or commune, in Israel with Debby and their first born, Sarah. They lived there for two years and have been back to visit five times. On his bucket list is visiting places that have a Jewish section, or elements, to them. Prague, Czech Republic is one of these places he would like to see.
As a current board member for Metro Blooms, Bob attends a lot of meetings, which he enjoys a lot.
He describes the other volunteers he works with as nice and welcoming – “Garden people are cool.” He’s also passionate about Metro Blooms’ vision and goals, and how he’s been made sensitive to clean water issues.