If you have a talent, consider yourself blessed.  It's a gift.  And, it's a good thing to share that gift with others. That's what's happening at the Ridgebury Senior Apartments in Millcreek.

Rick Matczak’s talent is growing flowers, plants, and vegetables. He's the green thumb of Ridgebury Apartments. He moved into the complex last December.  When springtime came, Rick noticed that there were no green sprouts popping up anywhere on the property. 

"I said, "Let me see what I could do," recalls Rick.  

Rick used his own money and purchased some plants and flowers. The front of the apartment complex was soon brightened by the colors of spring. Rick then focused his attention on the rear of the complex and planted flowers such as sweet alyssums, Johnny jump-ups, and chrysanthemums. The reaction from Rick’s fellow tenants was overwhelming.

"Everybody I see keeps telling me, 'It looks great.  It looks great. You did such as nice job and thank you for your work," says Rick.  

Some of Rick's neighbors were so thrilled with the bright natural look outside of their building that they wanted to pay him. Rick took their money but he used it to buy more plants. Other neighbors were so inspired by Rick that they planted flower gardens themselves. The place looks great and it all began with Rick, the new guy who moved here in December.

Jack Blank, a resident of Ridgebury Apartments, sits at the entrance of the building with other neighbors.  They admire Rick’s work.

"He comes in and he just brings joy to our lives,” says Jack. “The other thing is he's inspired other people to join in. It's been wonderful. We're sitting out here and that's what we're talking about.  How beautiful he's making our world."  

It's not just the residents that enjoy the plants and flowers.  The rear of the apartment building is bordered by a massive parcel of woods. Deer are frequent visitors to the gardens.  But as is the case with the human residents of the neighborhood, the deer just like to look.

"So far, they have not bothered anything here.  It's not the deer.  It's the turkey, the squirrels, and the chipmunks,” says Rick with a laugh.

Rick says a woman used to plant things at the complex but is not physically able to do it anymore. He is glad to resume that work and brighten the lives of those who live at the apartments.