We all know that Cumberland County is paving the way for a mega-landfill on the border of Cumberland and Powhatan. Some supervisors claim that “the majority” of the residents are for this monstrosity. There is absolutely no proof of this, because residents were never allowed to vote. However, even if it were true that many residents at the other end of the county were for this, does it mean it is right? This is being built on the backs of the homeowners who will smell, hear and see this garbage every day. We should never lose sight that all individuals have rights and that “the majority” should never be able to take those rights away, no matter how few may be affected. Here, on this website, we will begin to share with you the story of the people whose lives will be destroyed if this landfill comes to be.
Barbara and Hubbard Sprouse
Like many in the Pine Grove area, the Sprouse’s came to Cumberland County after raising their 4 children in Chesterfield County, for the beauty and quiet of rural life. Hubbard fell in love with the land and the people of Cumberland county long before he bought land here. He began hunting here with his father when he was only 10. He then joined a hunt club in Cumberland where he taught his own sons to hunt. When the opportunity to buy land here arose, he sold his beloved ’64 Corvette for the down payment. Hubbard and Barbara have been enjoying their 71 acre property for the past 18 years.
My husband and I had the opportunity to visit the Sprouse’s at their home off Miller Lane recently. As you make your way down a dirt road you are surrounded by the beauty of their land. On top of a hill sits their “forever home” with a full front porch that overlooks a pond. You get the distinct feeling that they are living in harmony with nature.
Upon entering their home, it is warm and welcoming, and you feel that they have succeeded in bringing their love of nature to the inside of their home. There is a large, stone fireplace situated in the middle of the living area with rich wood walls. Hubbard built this fireplace with his own hands and Barbara has brought the touches that give it it’s charm and homey feel.
I thought our visit would be short, but it is almost impossible to pull yourself away from both Barbara and Hubbard. Barbara adores her children and grandchildren and you can tell her world revolves around them. After 53 years of marriage, her eyes still light up when she talks about Hubbard, who she fondly refers to as “Hubby”, and their many fun adventures together. Family is first with Barbara. When meeting Hubbard, your first impression is that he is a most thoughtful and kind man, which is so true. What you are not quite ready for is his sense of humor. Both my husband and I are still laughing at the stories of his pranks over the years on unsuspecting people. His sense of adventure has been aided by his love of Harley Davidsons. He once took a trip from Virginia to Mexico on his bike because he wanted to see a bullfight. Along the way he got himself into quite a few jams while doing so! Mr. Sprouse’s other love is being Santa Claus which fits his personality completely.
Some of you may recognize Mr. Hubbard Sprouse’s name in relation to a zoning appeal he has been fighting against the Cumberland Board of Supervisors who voted to change the agricultural/residential zoning to heavy industrial to allow for the dump. Mr. Sprouse is a self-described non- technological, flip phone user but he spent weeks online researching minute details for his case. He has an excellent memory and can pull up dates, data and important anecdotes regarding the landfill fight. He is a hero in our times. “I could not live with myself if I didn’t do everything in my power to fight this.” As caring and considerate as Hubbard and Barbara Sprouse are, bringing up the subject of the landfill brings out the anger that so many people are feeling right now and the passion to fight against the odds.
If the roads are rerouted as intended for the Green Ridge Landfill, the Sprouse’s will be able to sit in their living room, look out the window and see trash mounting up less than 250 feet away. They will have trash trucks lined up day and night idling just feet from their home that they worked so hard for, she as a hair dresser and he as a lineman. They will be able to smell the garbage as it is piled high, taller than the trees surrounding their land as they sit on their porch at dusk with their family and friends. They had hoped to leave this land to their children someday, but that dream may soon be gone for the Sprouse family if we don’t all support the most basic of all human rights to live with health, happiness and security in your own home.
If you will be adversely affected by the proposed County Waste Greenridge Landfill, I would like to share your story.
Please contact me, Laurie, by email at Lahallig@Gmail.com.