Tim Drake from The Greenery helped Boys & Girls Club members plant flowers and shrubs in the reading garden at the club. COURTESY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

A new reading garden at the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island has been designed and built, with the generous support of The Greenery Inc., in memory of the late Linda Babel.

Babel was an ardent supporter of the club, and when she passed away suddenly in 2022, many of her friends and family made donations to the club in her name.

Babel and her husband Frank moved to Hilton Head Island in 2005 and have generously supported the club’s mission to serve those in need for the past17 years. Linda was also active in supporting other local community organizations including the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the 100 Women Who Care Club, not to mention her participation in countless local fundraisers. 

Frank Babel continues to support the club in many ways, including being a Pedal-for-a-Kid challenge rider in the organization’s annual Pedal Hilton Head Island fundraiser.

“We wanted to use a portion of the money donated in Linda’s name to recognize her in a meaningful way,” said Kim Likins, executive director of the club. “Linda was an avid reader with an insatiable appetite for learning, and we felt a special outdoor space for our members to read would be a fitting tribute to her legacy and the club’s reading enrichment program.”

The club reached out to James Van Dijk, regional manager for The Greenery, whose children attend the club, to ask for some guidance on planning for the garden. 

“And before you know it, Tim Drake and The Greenery team were on it!” said Likins. Wasting no time, they provided a design and offered to donate the cost of the majority of the material and labor.

“The Greenery was more than happy to partner with the club,” said Van Dijk. “Giving back to the community is part of our mission, and the club does so much for the kids in the community, including my own, that it was impossible to say no.”

The Reading Garden features colorful plants and shrubs, an irrigation system and a dedicated reading bench. Members of the club also helped with the planting.

This isn’t the first time a bench has been named after the Babels. Back in 2001, Babel’s Bench, as it is known, was built on the beach in Sea Pines.

Frank Babel was touched to see the new outdoor space at the Club. 

“Linda would’ve been quite pleased,” he said. “Knowing the kids at the club have such a beautiful place to sit outside and read, in her name, is a perfect way to honor Linda.”