Mystery Solved: The man behind the flowerbeds popping up around Birmingham

Volunteers help clean up local neighborhoods
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:20 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, and occasional accolades — years ago, the Warburton family made a conscious decision to initiate the change they wished to witness.

“I was disappointed that there was so much garbage on the portal to our neighborhood,” expressed Tom Warburton.

Warburton, accompanied by his children Oliver (9), Gray (13), and Reed (16), initiated their efforts by collecting litter.

“Out of a sense of neighborhood and pride in the city,” Tom Warburton said.

According to Gray, “It makes it all clean, and it looks prettier than having trash and bottles on the ground everywhere”.

One fateful day, Ralph Yielding, Tom Warburton’s law firm partner, joined the cause, resulting in a perfect synergy of efforts.

Ralph Yielding of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP elaborated, “Creating different teams of people to do this regularly on the weekends.”

Each weekend, the Warburton family, along with Yielding, his friend Wayne Hester, and other enthusiastic participants, can be seen diligently cleaning up litter and planting flowers.

Hester emphasized the significance of taking pride in one’s city.

“Take a lot of pride in your city,” he said. “You want your city to look good and have its best face!”

Reed Warburton added that the presence of flowers significantly enhances the beauty of our surroundings.

“The flowers make it so much more pretty and add to it all,” Reed Warburton said.

Yielding revealed that by the time of their interview with WBRC, they had already established four flowerbeds, contributing to a broader community effort taking place throughout the city.

Yielding expressed his appreciation for the City of Birmingham.

“I’d like to give a shout out to the city of Birmingham. They have a terrific horticulture nursery out near the Crossplex. They have plants out there to die for. They have provided us flats to plant the various flower beds,” Yielding said.

When asked about the duration of their commitment to beautifying Birmingham, Yielding confidently replied, ”We hope indefinitely”.

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