NewsPositively Hampton RoadsNews 3 Everyday Hero


From Bombs to Bonsai: Local man turns explosive skill into living art

Everyday Hero Award
Barbara Everyday Hero (May 10).jpg
Posted at 6:06 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 18:06:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Every week, News 3 highlights the work of people doing the right thing when no one is looking. This week, our Everyday Hero, who has a background in explosives, transitioned that skill to nurture living art.

If you take a stroll through the Bonsai collection at Norfolk Botanical Garden, you may run into Bill McReynolds, a volunteer since 2013, dropping knowledge about this celebration of nature.

Bonsai are considered by many as living art. Cultivating the dwarf plants started more than 2,000 years ago. The care that goes into it requires discipline, patience and skill.

That’s just the right wheelhouse for Bill, a Navy combat veteran who worked with explosives. You might say he’s transitioned from bombs to Bonsai.

Bill developed his horticulture skills with the Tidewater Bonsai Society and expanded his interest by becoming a volunteer at the Garden, and he now leads the Bonsai team.

Taylor Lyons, along with the rest of the staff at the Garden, credit Bill with putting in more than a thousand hours in volunteer time over the past 10 years and curating the Bonsai collection into an exceptional creation that gets better every year.

For those reasons, News 3 and our partners at Southern Bank awarded Bill with this week's “Everyday Hero” award.

To nominate someone for an Everyday Hero Award, click here.